Get live updates throughout the day on how COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, is affecting North Texas.
» COVID-19 By The Numbers:
In Texas: More than 491,000 cases and more than 8,800 deaths have been reported. More than 331,000 Texans have recovered. In North Texas: Cases in Dallas County: 53,291; Tarrant County: 32,590; Collin County: 7,268; Denton County: 7,519. There have been at least 1,309 reported deaths in the region’s four largest counties. Counties across Texas: Use The Texas Newsroom’s interactive maps. Global: See Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard
The three-day Back to School Sales Tax holiday is underway, and items — like backpacks and school supplies — under $100 are tax free.
Kevin Lyons with the Texas Comptroller’s Office said most personal protective equipment will not qualify, but there are some exceptions.
“Cloth masks that people have to wear every day, disposable cloth masks as well, you should not have to pay tax on those items because they meet the definition of clothing,” Lyons said. “However, protective gloves, medical grade masks, and industrial kind of masks…those aren’t normally worn every day and they aren’t worn for every activity that you do, so you will be paying tax on those items..”
Texas Comptroller’s website has a full list of eligable items.
Big Bend National Park Partially Open
Big Bend National Park will partially reopened Friday now that an employee who had previously been diagnosed with the coronavirus has recovered.
The employee tested positive late last month and is now “feeling fine,” according to a park official. Five additional employees who had contact with the person are now out of quarantine as well. Since the announcement of the confirmed case, there have been no additional reports of COVID-19 among staff or residents of the park.
“This is good news. The Park belongs to the people of the united states and we’re glad that, right now at least, our staff are healthy enough that we feel that we’re glad we can share it,” Superintendent Bob Krumenkaer said.
The park will allow day-time use only, similar to how officials first reopened the park earlier this summer.
Lack Of Black Doctors Must Be Addressed, Black Congressional Caucus Says
Speaking on behalf of the Black Congressional Caucus, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson said the pandemic has revealed long-standing disparities in medicine that must be addressed, including a significant lack of Black doctors.
“The medical workforce that we are all relying on to fight this pandemic, it is also rife with inequities,” she said. “Less than 7% of the medical students and less than 3% of the practicing physicians are Black. While Black women make up modest gains in representation of medical students, the number of Black men in medical school has decreased.”
According to the CDC, Black and Latino death rates are much higher than for white people, in all age categories.
Dallas County Reports 422 New Cases, 10 Deaths
An additional 422 cases in the area brings the total to 53,291. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said “we continue to see benefits from wearing masks.” He said he believes the county will continue to see declining numbers if residents keep taking precautions:
“If we continue to stay on the course that we’re on with masking and good decision making, I believe we can continue to see a decline that will get less people sick, keep more businesses open and get our kids back to school and activities sooner rather than later.”
Ten deaths were reported today:
A Dallas man in his 60s. A Balch Springs man in his 60s. A Richardson man in his 60s. A Dallas man in his 70s. A Farmers Branch woman in her 70s. Three Dallas women in their 70s. A Dallas man in his 80s. A Dallas woman in her 80s.
145 New Cases, 3 Deaths In Denton County
There are 145 new cases in the area, bringing the total to 7,519. Three deaths were reported today, raising the total to 60 deaths in the county:
A woman over 80 who was a resident of Eagle Ridge Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Denton A man in his 70s who was a resident of Brookhaven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Carrollton A man in his 70s who was a resident of Eagle Ridge Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Denton
Tarrant County Reports 291 New Cases
Another 291 cases raises the total to 32,590. There have been 414 deaths and 20,329 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.
195 New Cases In Collin County
There are 195 new cases in the area, bringing the total to 7,268. There have been 89 deaths and 5,065 people who have recovered from the virus in the county.
Abbott Warns Texans About The One-Two Punch Of Flu Season And COVID-19
Gov. Greg Abbott is urging Texans to get flu vaccines early this season. He’s warning about a double whammy of flu and COVID-19.
Speaking in Dallas on Thursday, Abbott said COVID-19 is still a dangerous threat — and that combining COVID with a bad flu season would be terrible for the healthcare system.
“You can easily see how hospitals in this region as well as across Texas will be completely overrun,” he said.
Read the full story from KERA’s Bret Jaspers.
Texas To Allow Limited Visitation In Nursing Homes With No Active Coronavirus Cases
For the first time in nearly five months, visitors will be allowed in Texas nursing homes on a limited basis, state health officials announced Thursday evening, reversing a policy intended to keep the state’s most vulnerable populations safe from a pandemic that has proved especially deadly for older people.
Residents of Texas’ long-term care facilities have been separated from their family and friends for more than 140 days, since Gov. Greg Abbott shut down visitation in mid-March.
Read more from The Texas Tribune.
Dallas County Reports Lowest Number Of Daily Cases Since June
There are 230 new cases in the area, bringing the total to 52,869. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said it’s the lowest daily case number since June 1, which is evidence that precautionary efforts like mask-wearing are working. He said the deaths today are still a reminder that COVID is a “very dangerous disease”:
“Today’s numbers carry a somber reminder in the ten deaths, one of whom was a person in their 40’s without underlying health conditions. We saw the same thing with another person yesterday. COVID-19 is a very dangerous disease for everyone and that’s why wearing a mask, maintaining a six foot distance, regular hygiene and avoiding unnecessary trips is absolutely essential.”
Another 10 deaths were reported today:
An Irving man in his 40s. A Dallas man in his 50s. A Lancaster woman in her 60s. An Irving woman in her 60s. A Dallas man in his 60s. A Dallas woman in her 60s. Two Mesquite men in their 70s. A Garland man in his 70s. A Garland woman in her 80s.
117 New Cases, 1 Death In Denton County
Another 117 cases raises the total to 7,374. A Frisco woman over 80 died today, bringing the total deaths in the area to 57. There are 108 people who have recovered from the virus, increasing the countywide recovery total to 4,294.
Tarrant County Reports 464 New Cases
There are 464 additional cases in the area, bringing the total to 32,299. There have been 411 deaths and 19,478 people who have recovered from the virus in the area.
222 New Cases In Collin County
An additional 222 cases in the area raises the total to 7,074. There have been 87 deaths and 5,036 people who have recovered in the area.
UT-Austin Will Test 5,000 People A Week For Coronavirus And Cover Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Students
The University of Texas at Austin, one of Texas’ largest universities, will provide all students with tests at no charge and plans to proactively test 5,000 asymptomatic campus individuals a week in an effort to deter outbreaks.
This comes after the university earned the distinction from The New York Times as the leading U.S. college in the number of COVID-19 cases, which could be due to a lack of reporting from other schools. The University of Texas reported a total of 472 COVID-19 cases among students, faculty and staff as of Thursday. The university also found 22 positive cases in its proactive tests, with 823 coming back negative.
The proactive tests for asymptomatic individuals will be deployed by the university and will not be open for individual requests. The university plans to test all of its campus residence hall students by the beginning of September. It will continue to identify individuals or groups on campus strategically to test those at a higher risk of disease spread, as well as random testing. All testing will be voluntary.
Read the full story by The Texas Tribune.
Company Running Dallas Testing Site Under Scrutiny
The company running a coronavirus testing site in Dallas co-funded by the city and county has come under scrutiny.
Mayor Eric Johnson yesterday asked the city auditor to investigate Honu Management Group. Johnson wants to know how the Washington-based company won a $14 million contract to run the site launched at the University of Dallas last month. It has since moved to the Dallas College Eastfield Campus.
Johnson’s call for an investigation follows a Dallas Morning News report on potential red flags in the company’s track record.
It also comes after commissioners decided to withhold Dallas County’s share of the contract until officials determine if Honu’s fulfilling its obligations of providing test results within 72 hours of a lab receiving the specimen.
No response yet from Honu, but county-provided data showed more than 90% of the test results have been turned around within three days.
Dallas Art Fair Canceled This Year
The Dallas Art Fair has officially canceled this year’s edition.
The Dallas Morning News reports the event was postponed until October. However, director Kelly Cornell said the high number of COVID-19 cases in Texas made it too dangerous to move forward with the international fair.
Organizers expected a peak year, with 22 exhibitors scheduled to fly into North Texas from other countries.
Meanwhile, the fair’s newest venture called Culture Place has been a major success. The digital marketplace made $3 million in sales in just ten days.
Read More: A Timeline Of COVID-19’s Spread In North Texas
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