Updated at 7:30 p.m.: Revised to include new Collin County cases, inmates’ lawsuit.
Updated at 8:25 p.m.: Revised to include Ellis County cases.
Dallas County reported 108 additional cases of coronavirus and two more deaths Thursday.
A man in his 80s who was in hospice care at a long-term care facility died of the virus, officials said, as did a DeSoto man in his 70s who had been hospitalized.
No other information was released, including the name of the facility where the older man died.
Dallas County has now recorded 1,432 cases with 22 deaths. The sharp uptick came after the county reported 63 new cases Wednesday.
“COVID-19 is imposing on us in so many painful ways, but it will not break the spirit of North Texas!” County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement, adding that he was grateful for everyone who is sacrificing to blunt the disease’s spread.
Nine inmates at the Dallas County Jail are filing a lawsuit against Sheriff Marian Brown and the county over alleged unsafe conditions at the facility because of the coronavirus outbreak, their attorneys said Thursday.
Dr. Philip Huang, the county’s public-health director, said Wednesday that 29 inmates and two detention officers have tested positive for the virus.
The lawsuit, which did not appear in the county’s court records Thursday evening, seeks the release of all inmates older than 50, as well as those with underlying health conditions that may make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. It also seeks to guarantee that the jail ensure that remaining inmates are able to maintain social distancing and have access to supplies, such as soap and face masks, to prevent the virus’ spread.
“People’s lives are at stake here, and we’re asking the court to take immediate action,” Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas — one of the groups representing the inmates — said in a written statement.
Representatives for the Sheriff’s Department and the county did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Last month, Brown urged police departments in Dallas County to refrain from arresting low-level offenses in order to keep the jail’s population down.
In addition to the ACLU of Texas, the inmates are represented by the national ACLU, Civil Rights Corps, Next Generation Action Network and the law firm Susman Godfrey.
8th Dallas officer tests positive
An eighth Dallas police officer tested positive for the virus, the department announced Thursday.
The officer, who works in the property room at police headquarters, was tested Saturday and received the diagnosis Wednesday, said Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a police spokesman. The officer’s last day in the office was March 24.
The officer will be isolated at home for at least 14 days until cleared to return to duty, Mitchell said.
People who may have come into contact with the officer have been interviewed by the department’s medical staff to determine whether further quarantines are necessary. The area where the officer worked has been sanitized by a cleaning crew, Mitchell said.
As of Wednesday, 10 Dallas firefighters had tested positive for coronavirus and 126 had been quarantined, Dallas Fire Fighters Association president Jim McDade said.
A Fort Worth woman was the 20th person in the county to die from complications of coronavirus, officials said Thursday morning.
The woman was in her 60s and had underlying health problems. No other information was released.
The county has reported 637 cases so far, including 254 from Fort Worth. Of the total patients, 61 have recovered, officials said.
A 53-year-old Dallas man was the sixth Collin County resident to die from the coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.
The man had underlying health problems, according to county officials.
“Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with this gentleman’s family and friends,” County Judge Chris Hill said in a written statement. “We mourn together with them at the loss of their loved one.”
The county also reported 28 new COVID-19 cases. Of the 406 total cases, 165 of the patients have recovered, officials said.
Two more Denton County residents have died after contracting COVID-19, authorities said Thursday.
The patients were a man in his 70s and a woman in her 50s, and both lived in Lewisville. No further information about them was released.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these two individuals and to all who have suffered loss during this pandemic,” County Judge Andy Eads said in a written statement. “This terrible news underscores the significance of the stay-at-home mandate and the importance of practicing social distancing on all outings.”
The county also reported 28 new positive coronavirus tests, raising its number of cases to 426. There have been nine deaths.
Officials in Rockwall County said Thursday that four more residents have tested positive for the coronavirus — two people in their 30s and two children under the age of 10.
All four live in the city of Rockwall, officials said. No further information was released.
Rockwall County has had 19 total COVID-19 cases.
Kaufman County Judge Hal Richards said Thursday that there were five new cases of COVID-19 in the county, bringing its total to 24.
Richards has declined to release any additional information about the patients, saying that it could violate privacy laws because of the low populations of the county and its towns.
Officials in Ellis County are reporting 18 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 63.
The new cases include 15 that have been confirmed positive, while another three are probable.
Ten new cases were identified in Waxahachie alone, including two more residents of Legend Oaks Healthcare and Rehabilitation. Both are women, ages 89 and 92.
Among the other new cases are three apiece in Ennis and Midlothian, one in Ovilla and another in Red Oak.
“Easter Sunday is upon us, and we ask Ellis County residents to remain vigilant and cautious to stop the spread of COVID-19 in true Texan fashion,” said Ellis County judge and emergency management director Todd Little.
Staff writer Marc Ramirez contributed to this report.