UPDATE 6/25/20: Thursday morning County Judge Glen Whitley—spokesman for the Tarrant County Commissioners—issued a mask mandate, taking effect June 26 at 6 pm until August 3 at 6 am.
While cases of the Chinese coronavirus are rising, Tarrant County’s public health director reported this week that deaths from the virus are falling in Texas’ third-most populous county.
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Tarrant County Commissioners Court, Public Health Director Dr. Vinny Taneja said that over the weekend, there were over 444 cases in a day (the highest reported spike in a single day), and over 1,630 cases reported last week (the “highest week reporting so far”). These individuals were tested during the week of June 8.
Taneja also said fewer and fewer are dying from the virus.
“COVID-19 deaths are trending down,” he told commissioners.
“We’re seeing some great increases in our numbers,” Taneja said. “Totals to report this morning are 9,388 total cases, with 262 new additions for this morning.”
He added that as of now, they’re seeing about 4,000 new cases a day in Texas.
“There is clear correlation between when people get out and do activities, we’re going to see more case activity, and that’s showing up in our national numbers,” he said.
“Younger people are healthier, so [they are] less likely to get a more severe form of illness,” Taneja said. “The disease hasn’t gotten milder; it’s just the population that’s gotten more of the disease is the younger age group because they’re just out and about at this point.”
Hospital trends are also up in Tarrant, with 320 confirmed coronavirus cases in hospitals and 8 percent of hospital beds occupied by coronavirus patients.
Out of the entire county population of over 2 million, 211 have died from the virus, while 4,513 recoveries have been reported. “We’re about half-recovered from all these cases,” Taneja said.
Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, governments like Dallas County have relied on flawed data and their assumptions have continuously changed, but Tuesday, Taneja reiterated the only point that has remained consistent about the coronavirus.
“If you are over 65, you are high-risk. If you have underlying conditions, you are high-risk,” he said. “The death burden is high on that population.”
This corresponds with what Dr. Ivette Lozano of Lozano Medical Clinic told Texas Scorecard in May. She uses hydroxychloroquine (used traditionally to treat malaria and other illnesses) and Zithromax (an antibiotic) to treat the coronavirus and has found great success.
“One hundred percent of my patients have recovered very nicely,” she said. “Within 24 to 48 hours, all symptoms are gone with medications that cost about $25-30 in pharmacies.”
In response to the latest information, the Republican-majority Tarrant commissioners court declined to follow Democrat County Judges Clay Jenkins of Dallas County and Lina Hidalgo of Harris County in issuing a new mask mandate.
“I will beg and plead with you to wear a mask, but I will not require it,” Republican Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said on June 20. “I won’t even attempt to require it as long as our hospitals are ok.”
In the preamble to the Texas GOP Platform, it reads: “We strive to preserve the freedom given to us by God, implemented by our Founding Fathers, and embodied in the Constitution.”