Tarrant County Reports 343 New COVID-19 Cases, 4 Deaths Friday

County cases top 10,700 with 222 dead; mask order goes into effect Friday at 6 p.m.

Nefty Gonzalez, NBC 5

A day after setting the high mark for COVID-19 cases in the Metroplex, Tarrant County Public Health reports a drop in new cases to 343 new infections along with four more deaths.

The latest victims include a man in his 40s, a man in his 70s, and a woman in her 60s, all from Fort Worth, and a man in his 60s from Arlington. All had underlying health conditions.

Thursday's 343 new cases bring the total number of cases in Tarrant County since March to 10,706 and are a big drop from the 517 new cases reported on Thursday. Over the last seven days, the county has averaged 339 cases per day. A week ago, that rolling 7-day average was at 173 cases per day.

The latest deaths bring the county's total to 222 fatalities associated with the virus. The county is also reporting 116 new recoveries for a total of 4,887 survivors.

Of the county's cases, 68% 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 39%.

As of Friday, the county reported: 1,535 available hospital beds, 329 fewer than Thursday; 438 available ventilators, the same number reported Thursday; of the 5,597 active cases, 299 of those people are hospitalized, 40 fewer than on Thursday.

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.

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