Live COVID-19 updates: Gov. Greg Abbott gives update on efforts in Texas

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Phase 1 of reopening in Texas began Friday, with the relaxation of restrictions on retail, restaurants and more.

Grand Prairie Independent School District officials are asking those who picked up meals from one of their locations to self-quarantine or seek medical advice.

One of their employees who works in the child nutrition department has tested positive for COVID-19, officials said, prompting the call to self-quarantine.

The meals in question were handed out at David Daniels Academy of Math and Science, according to officials. 

The employee last reported to work on Wednesday when they had no symptoms. But by Friday, the employee did have symptoms that required medical attention and they received the positive test result Monday. 

Interim Superintendent of Schools Linda Ellis said the call to self-quarantine was “out of an abundance of caution,” but did not provide any additional details.

Across the state, more than 33,360 cases have been reported since the outbreak began, and 906 people have died. Currently, 1,888 people are hospitalized in their fight against the disease, while almost 16,800 have recovered. 

At least 427,210 people have been tested in Texas.

Top updates for Tuesday, May 5:

Texas saw a big increase in cases over the weekend, setting a record for the largest gain of COVID–19 cases over a two-day period since the pandemic began.The Texas Workforce Commission announced some good news for those who may have run out of or be nearing the end of their unemployment insurance– they may now get an additional 13 weeks of insurance. And, that extra $600 a week will now be coming to all of those who’ve recently filed unemployment. Click here for the details. Dallas ISD is considering different options for how students will return to their lessons in fall 2020 following the coronavirus pandemic and while leaders say it is “likely” they’ll return to campuses in the fall, it won’t be business as usual.

For a daily roundup of the biggest coronavirus news from around North Texas, sign up for the WFAA COVID-19 email newsletter.


Gov. Greg Abbott to give update on COVID-19 in Texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was expected to give an update on combating COVID-19 in the state. 

His news conference is expected to be at 3 p.m.


Six more people have died in Tarrant County, officials say

Eighty-three people who lived in Tarrant County have now died from COVID-19, officials said Tuesday. Six new deaths were reported by health officials Tuesday, including four people from Fort Worth and one each from Keller and Grapevine. All six had underlying health conditions. 

The Fort Worth victims include both a man and woman in their 50s and two men in their 80s. The victims from Keller and Grapevine were both women in their 80s, officials said. 

“These latest deaths are sad and troubling to all of us,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja.

The county also reported 62 new cases, bringing the county’s total to 2,686. More than 650 people have recovered so far.


Dallas County leaders want residents to be able to vote by mail

Dallas County’s commissioners voted Tuesday to pass a resolution that would allow voters to send in their ballots by mail if they are concerned about contracting COVID-19. 

The resolution would apply to any elections held in 2020, but could be contested by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who argues that such measures violate Texas Election Code. 

RELATED: Dallas County wants voters to be able to mail-in ballots due to coronavirus fears


Nearly 10,000 Dallas residents applied for small business, rent and mortgage relief programs

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted Tuesday that 9,966 people had applied for the city’s rental and mortgage assistance program. The applications are now closed.

On Monday, the city’s website crashed after people completed applications for two new COVID-19 relief programs.

RELATED: Dallas small business, rent and mortgage relief programs overwhelmed by initial applications; city website crashes


Lewisville cancels all city events through late September as city faces major budget shortfall

City officials announced Tuesday they would be canceling all city-sponsored public events through late September due to the uncertainty of the situation with the coronavirus’ spread as they face “major budgetary concerns.”

Canceled events include: 

KTA Jam Session on May 8St. Paddy’s Texas Style on May 23 Fiesta Charra on May 30The entire Sounds of Lewisville Concert Series in June and JulyThe Sounds of Red, White and Lewisville concert and Old Town fireworks show on July 3

Officials said the city is facing nearly a $1 million loss in revenue from the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund due to the pandemic. The fund pays for those special events. Overall, the city is looking at a budget shortfall of more than $15 million due to the pandemic. 

The city may still hold Western Days on Sept. 25 and 26, but officials have not yet made a decision on that event. Cuts could be made to it, but those will not be decided on until early June, according to officials.

“This is a very difficult decision to make,” said City Manager Donna Barron. “From a budget standpoint, we’re at a point where we must choose between cutting programs or cutting people, and we felt it best to cut programs in order to retain our employees. The employees help make these programs so successful.”


Hood, Navarro counties holding testing Tuesday

Hood County will have COVID-19 testing available for any resident who is displaying one or more of the symptoms on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The tests are free to anyone who needs one. The testing site is located at the Emergency Operation Center in Granbury at 401 Deputy Larry Miller Drive. 

Navarro County is holding a free COVID-19 testing site on Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., as well, at the I.O.O.F. Event Center at 601 N. 45th St. in Corsicana.

To be tested, you must call to set up an appointment ahead of your arrival. 

You can do that by either calling 512-883-2400 or visiting txcovidtest.org


Drive-thru testing site open for first half of week in McKinney

Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and all health care workers and first responders can sign up to get tested for the disease in McKinney on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, Mayor George Fuller said. 

The testing will take place from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. in a Walmart parking lot located at 1721 N. Custer Road. 

Those wishing to get tested will need to sign up for an appointment through eTrueNorth at doineedacovid19test.com. When visiting the testing site, bring an appointment confirmation and photo ID. 

There will be no out-of-pocket cost to those wishing to get tested.


Testing sites open this week in Parker, Rockwall counties

Parker County is opening a second drive-through testing facility on Thursday at Heritage Park 317 Santa Fe Dr. Visitors must select an appointment time.

Rockwall County will have the testing site from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at 701 E. Interstate 30 at Lake Pointe Church. You will be screened to see if you have fever/chills, cough, fatigue, body aches/muscle or joint pain, shortness of breath, sore throat, headaches, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, nasal congestion and loss of taste/smell.

To visit any of these sites, you must preregister at txcovidtest.org or call 512-883-2400.


Health experts recommend taking the following actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.Practice “social distancing” and stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid large public gatheringsAvoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Stay home when you are sick.Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.Consult CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories and steps to protect yourself if you plan to travel outside of the U.S.

WFAA digital producer Eline de Bruijn contributed to this report. 


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