COVID-19 Live Updates: Dallas County To Reopen Some Sport Facilities

KERA News

Get live updates throughout the day on how COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, is affecting North Texas. 

» COVID-19 Totals:

In Texas: More than 27,300 cases and 759 deaths have been reported across the state. In North Texas: Cases in Dallas County: 3,352; Tarrant County: 2,149; Collin County: 710; Denton County: 748. There have been at least 190 reported deaths in the region's four largest counties.  Check all Texas counties: Use The Texas Newsroom's interactive maps to see cases and deaths across the state.  Global: See Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 dashboard for totals in the U.S. and around the world.

Dallas To Reopen Golf Courses, Tennis Centers

Beginning May 1, the city of Dallas is reopening golf courses, tennis facilities, Elm Fork range and some outdoor fee-based programs. Each facility will have specific usage restrictions.

Dallas Park and Recreation runs six 18-hole golf courses, five tennis centers and the Elm Fork Range. Facilities and outdoor programs set to reopen will adhere to strict physical distancing as well as safe, sanitary protocols. Operating restrictions for these areas can be found at DallasParks.org.

Fed Survey Shows 40% Of Texas Service Sector Businesses Experiencing Layoffs Due To COVID-19

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas conducts a monthly survey to assess activity in the Texas service sector, which represents almost 70% of the state's economy In this month’s survey both sales and wages are down across the board.

More than 300 high-level service and retail sector employees were asked special questions about the impact of the coronavirus. Of those surveyed, 40% are laying off employees and half are cutting employee's hours.

Their responses showed that revenue in the service industry has ticked up slightly from last month's all time low, but associate economist Chris Slijk said he expects to see further declines.

“Firms remain very pessimistic, with a majority of firms expecting broader economic conditions to worsen compared to March,” Slijk said.

Wages and prices also posted the steepest declines since the Great Recession. 

Meanwhile the retail sales saw a modest increase, but employment fell to a record low — with over half of respondents laying off workers.

“Outlooks remain negative, with close to 85% of retailers noting a worsening outlook compared to last month,” Slijk said. 

UNT Dallas To Host Mobile Food Pantry Today

The North Texas Food Bank is holding a drive-through food pantry event from 9 a.m. to noon today.

.@ntfb drive-thru food pantry on the #UNTDallas campus (7300 University Hills Blvd.) on Thursday, April 30 from 9 am-noon. @TxNationalGuard will load boxes of food into your car.@NBCDFWCommunity @NBCDFW @wfaa @CBSDFW @FOX4 @keranews @WBAP247NEWS @KRLD @Advocate_OC @DFW_Rambler pic.twitter.com/2gxMovyhII

— UNT Dallas (@UNTDallas) April 29, 2020

Dallas, Fort Worth Schools Plan Virtual Graduations

School officials say thousands of Dallas and Fort Worth seniors will mark their high school graduations with virtual ceremonies.

The Dallas school district will hold 37 ceremonies between May 22 and 31.

Each student will receive a customized banner to display at home.

Fort Worth ISD will hold 21 graduations online over several days in June. Students will be able to share photos of themselves in cap and gown as well as personalized messages when they move their tassel to signify that they are new graduates.

State Orders Beaches To Reopen Tomorrow

The Texas General Land Office has ordered all of the state’s public beaches to reopen by tomorrow.

The city of Galveston announced that decision yesterday.

The move comes days after Gov. Abbott issued an executive order allowing certain businesses to reopen by tomorrow.

The order also gives the green light for outdoor activities as long as “necessary precautions are maintained” to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.

SMU Faculty, Staff To Come Back To Work June 1

Southern Methodist University plans to have all its employees back on the Dallas campus by June 1st.

Most have worked remotely since the university shut down most on-campus operations in March.

A letter from President Gerald Turner to staff said SMU plans to begin bringing them back on campus May 18. Barring further orders by state or county officials, employees wanting to return to campus that day may do so.

SXSW Sued Over Refusal To Give Refunds

A class-action lawsuit has been filed over South by Southwest's refusal to offer refunds for its conference and festival in Austin.

The event scheduled last month was called off because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dallas Morning News reports a statement Saturday from South by Southwest officials said the event's in a dire financial situation. They also pointed to fine print stating the festival doesn’t issue refunds “under any circumstances.”

The event's website says festival registrants can “defer” this year’s admission price to next year's festival or events in 2022 or 2023.

The two registrants from Colorado and Massachusetts who filed the lawsuit said they don’t necessarily plan to attend SXSW in the future. They want refunds and “equitable monetary relief” now. They say they spent more than $1,000 on conference badges and other expenses.

Read the full story from The Dallas Morning News.

Dallas County Reporting 112 More Cases

Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting an additional 112 cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths. The total number of cases in Dallas County now stands at 3,352 with 99 deaths.

The five deaths include:

A Dallas man in his 50s who had been hospitalized A Mesquite man in his 60s who had been critically ill in an area hospital A Balch Springs man in his 60s who was a resident of a long-term care facility and had been criticall ill in an area hospital A Dallas woman in her 90s who was a a resident of a long-term care facility and had been hospitalized A Dallas man in his 90s who was a resident of a long-term care facility and had been hospitalized

Tarrant County Reporting 61 New Cases, 3 More Deaths

Tarrant County Public Health is reporting three COVID-19 deaths and 61 new cases.

The deaths include two Fort Worth women, one in her 90s and one in her 30s, and a Grapevine woman in her 70s. All had underlying health conditions.

Denton County Reports 10 New Cases

Denton County Public Health is reporting 10 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. This increases the countywide total number of cases to 748.

Collin County Reports 18 New Cases, 1 Death

Collin County is reporting 18 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 710.

Authorities are reporting the death of an 83-year-old Plano woman last night. According to a press release, the woman had underlying health conditions.

The Galleria Mall Will Open Monday, May 4, And Shoppers Will Be Required To Wear Masks

One of North Texas' most prominent shopping malls will reopen next week, a few days after the state stay-at-home order expires today.

Galleria Dallas will open Monday, the mall said through a representative in an email to media. At first there will be limited hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Retailers will have the option to reopen at their discretion, and they can continue doing "retail-to-go" if they choose, the email said.

Mall practices and the shopping experience will be temporarily modified:

• All visitors and employees will be required to wear face masks.
• Food court seating will be removed and food must be taken to-go.
• The Children's Play Place will be closed.
• The mall's concierge services, like curbside delivery and package check, won't be offered.
• Common area seating will be removed or spaced for social distancing.

UNT Dallas To Host Mobile Food Pantry Tomorrow

The North Texas Food Bank is holding a drive-through food pantry event from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, April 30.

Plano Libraries To Offer Limited Services Beginning Monday

Beginning May 4, Plano public libraries will open all book drops. Items that are currently checked out will be due starting the week of June 1. All libraries will offer porchside pick-up of items on hold and the returns of specialty items.

Fort Worth Inmate Who Had C-Section While On Ventilator Dies

An inmate at the Federal Medical Center Carswell prison in Fort Worth died Tuesday, a month after she was hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms and delivered a baby by cesarean section while on a ventilator.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons said Andrea Circle Bear, 30, was from the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. She'd pleaded guilty to a federal methamphetamine charge, and was transferred from a local prison to the Fort Worth medical center on March 20.

She's the 29th inmate to die in Bureau of Prisons custody since late March. More than 1,700 federal inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

Tarrant County Officials Say Facility-Related Deaths Are Up

County officials say they've seen a spike in facility-related COVID-19 cases. 

County Commissioner Roy Brooks said the word "facilities" includes jails and prisons, nursing homes, rehab centers and any other long-term living spaces.

"All of these are places where people have limited to no choice about being there,” Brooks said. “These are places where social distancing is very difficult to achieve.” 

Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to re-open the Texas economy lays out specific steps for slowing the spread in these places.

Those include increased testing, isolating individuals with the virus and limiting staff from traveling between different facilities.

6th Texas Execution Delayed; Attorneys Cite Pandemic

The state criminal appeals court has delayed a sixth execution in Texas.

Edward Lee Busby was scheduled to receive a lethal injection May 6th. That's now on hold for 60 days.

The appeals court order didn't give a reason, but Busby’s attorneys argued for delaying the execution because of the dangers from the pandemic. 

Busby went to death row for the killing of a retired 77-year-old college professor abducted in Fort Worth.

Most Dallas Movie Theaters Staying Closed — For Now

Many large movie theater chains are saying they won't reopen on Friday, despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan allowing movie theaters and other businesses to reopen with limited occupancy.

The Dallas Morning News reports Cinemark, Studio Movie Grill and Alamo Drafthouse locations will remain closed until further notice.

The theater chains are citing health concerns for both customers and staff.

AMC and Cinemark theaters say they're preparing for a midsummer opening. 

Read the full story from The Dallas Morning News.

Read More: A Timeline Of COVID-19's Spread In North Texas 

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