Tarrant County Public Health is reporting 517 new COVID-19 cases Thursday along with three more deaths and another increase in hospitalizations.
The latest victims include a woman in her 80s, a man in his 60s and a man in his 80s, all from Arlington. All had underlying health conditions.
Thursday's cases in Tarrant County brings the total number of cases since March to 10,363. Over the last seven days, the county has averaged 323 cases per day. A week ago, that rolling 7-day average was at 182 cases per day. On Tuesday, that 7-day average was 249 cases per day and on Wednesday it was 289.
The latest death brings the county's total to 218 fatalities associated with the virus. The county is also reporting 89 new recoveries for a total of 4,771 survivors.
The addition of the latest 517 cases is the highest total on record for any North Texas county. It tops the previous high mark in the county of 485 cases reported on May 10 which was tied to an outbreak inside a federal medical prison in Fort Worth. The total is the third time in five days the county has reported more than 400 news cases after 444 were reported on Sunday. Tarrant County Public Health spokesman Richard Hill said the surge in cases Sunday was not tied to a particular outbreak or location.
Of the county's cases, 67% of those who have died were over the age of 65. Those aged 25 to 44 make up the largest percentage of people with COVID-19 at 38%.
As of Thursday, the county reported: 1,864 available hospital beds, 15 fewer than Wednesday; 438 available ventilators, 11 more than on Wednesday; of the 5,374 active cases, 339 of those people are hospitalized, 18 more than on Wednesday and 71 more than on Monday.
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said Thursday that the county was following the lead of other large Texas counties and mandating that face-coverings be worn in area businesses by most people. The countywide executive order will go into effect at 6 p.m. Friday.
Earlier in the week, Whitley said there are currently enough hospital beds, but to keep it that way, he's urging, begging and convincing people to wear masks while out in public.
"I still know there are a lot of folks that say, 'Well I have the right, I don't have the wear the mask,' and I say, 'Yeah, just because you have that right doesn't mean that it's right,' so we're still stressing wear the masks while you're outside, respect others," Whitley said.