Updated at 8 p.m.: Adds Collin County’s report Wednesday evening of 13 new positive cases.
Dallas County officials expressed alarm as 78 positive cases of coronavirus were confirmed Wednesday — by far the sharpest one-day increase since the county began tabulating results.
“Today’s steep increase in cases is an urgent reminder that Governor Abbott should heed the pleas of doctors, nurses and hospitals. We can’t wait any longer,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a news release. “I once again ask all North Texas counties to immediately move to the Dallas ‘Stay Home Stay Safe’ model as some did yesterday. That’s our best chance to #Flattenthecurve."
The county has reported a total of 247 cases. That number doesn’t include people who live outside the county but may have been treated at county facilities. Health experts have told the public to expect larger increases in cases as testing capacity increases.
The county also confirmed the sixth death associated with COVID-19, a Garland woman in her 80s who had been hospitalized but didn’t have other high-risk chronic health conditions.
No further details about the latest figures were released. County officials have released more detailed demographic information on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Of the cases requiring hospitalization to date, about 67% have been over 60 years old or have had at least one known high-risk chronic health condition, officials said.
Tarrant County officials confirmed 18 more cases Wednesday, bringing its total to 90. Seven of those were in Fort Worth, while Arlington, Colleyville and Mansfield logged two new cases each and Hurst, Westlake, Grapevine, Haltom City and Keller each reported one.
Hurst’s and Westlake’s cases were the first reported in those cities.
Denton County health officials announced 19 new confirmed cases Wednesday, including a woman in her 50s who is a Denton State Supported Living Center resident. She is currently hospitalized, officials said. No further details were released. The county has reported a total of 70 confirmed cases, including seven at the living center.
Collin reports 13 new cases; total at 66
Collin County health officials reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the county’s total to 66.
Of the new cases, two people are hospitalized, four have underlying health conditions and seven had recently traveled, including one who reported having traveled abroad.
The new cases include three in McKinney, two each in Frisco, Plano and Wylie, and one each in Anna, Celina, Dallas and Richardson.
One is in his 70s, five are in their 60s, six are in their 40s, and one is 18.
McKinney issues shelter-in-place order
McKinney Mayor George Fuller on Wednesday issued a shelter-in-place order for the city, ordering all businesses that are not essential to close.
The order came a day after Collin County Judge Chris Hill signed a shelter-in-place order instructing residents to stay home but allowing businesses to continue operating.
Fuller had said earlier this week that Collin County cities intended to adopt an order similar to Dallas County’s, which more specifically defined what businesses could remain open. He said Tuesday that he wished the Collin County order had more specific definitions.
McKinney’s shelter-in-place order is similar to Dallas County’s. It states that essential operations include jobs in health care, government, grocery stores or other food providers, child care providers and businesses serving economically disadvantaged people.
“I am convinced that the risks of underreacting are so much greater than the risks of overreacting, and although we hope for the best, we must be prudent and plan for the worst,” Fuller said in a written statement. “It is going to take all of us, working together, to ensure that we put the health and safety of our community above all else, and I have no doubt that is what we will do.”
Similar to other counties’ shelter-in-place orders, restaurants can still provide delivery and takeout, and residents are instructed to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
The order goes into effect Thursday at 12:01 a.m. and will last until April 1 at 11:59 p.m.