Dallas County reports record 20 deaths, 601 new COVID-19 cases as outbreak worsens

Tuesday was the deadliest day yet for Dallas County as 20 people died from COVID-19, officials said.

It was also the fifth day in a row of a record number of new cases in a single day, with 601 new cases reported in the county.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations also continued to skyrocket, with 619 coronavirus patients in Dallas and 1,340 regionally. For comparison, there were 296 hospitalizations one month ago in Dallas and 615 regionally.

The 20 deaths were: a Richardson man in his 30s, a Dallas man in his 30s, two Dallas men in their 40s, an Irving man in his 40s, a Balch Springs man in his 50s, a Seagoville man in his 50s, a Dallas woman in her 60s, a Dallas man in his 60s, a Garland woman in her 60s, three Dallas men in their 70s, a Dallas woman in her 70s, a Dallas woman in her 70s, two Dallas woman in their 80s, a Dallas man in his 80s, two Dallas women in their 80s.

“Lives depend on swift action, not only from our state leaders, but from all of you in making good, strong decisions,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Jenkins, also, again asked for Gov. Greg Abbott to institute a statewide mask-wearing requirement.

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Dr. Phillip Huang, Dallas County Health and Human Services, said the growing case numbers should be a clear message that Independence Day gatherings should be limited.

"I think the common message is we cannot have a July 4th weekend, coming up like we had over Memorial Day," Huang said. "I think people are somewhat starting to get the message, realizing as we’ve been reporting these new numbers that it is serious again. That you know we can’t take this for granted."

“What those numbers say to me is loud and clear: COVID-19 continues to cause havoc in North Texas,” said Dallas County Medical Society President Dr. Mark Casanova.

A month ago, Texas entered phase three of reopening.  But because of the recent surge, Gov. Greg Abbott issued reopening reversal orders.

Outdoor gatherings of 100-people or more are not allowed unless organizers get permission from county or city leaders. Bars were once again ordered to close and restaurants to scale back capacity.

Bars and nightclubs were first allowed to reopen the Friday before Memorial Day. In an interview with FOX 26 Houston, Gov. Abbott said Texans can’t repeat the mistakes from that weekend this holiday weekend.

“I am worried about the upcoming Fourth of July because we learned from Memorial Day. That was one of the reasons that lead up to the spread,” Abbott said. “It was contributed in part that bars were open at that time and people had COVID fatigue and they let down their guard and began to socialize together again. If that continues into the Fourth of July, that will stoke the increase.”

Dr. John Zerwas is on Gov. Abbott's coronavirus strike force.

“It’s really pushing this message and the adoption of good hygiene, masks, distancing, that is the thing that is going to do it,” Zerwas said.

Dallas County Health and Human Services reported as of Monday there are 619 COVID-19 patients in Dallas County hospitals. 634 ER visits were made in a 24-hour period, according to the county health department.

Dr. Casanova says the only way to flatten the new curve is by wearing a mask.

“We can affect the change if folks wear masks religiously and unwavering when they are outside in public, keeping social distancing and washing hands,” he said. “We can turn this around.”

Dallas County now has a total of 21,338 cases and 373 deaths since the pandemic began.

Tarrant County officials also announced a record number of new cases on Tuesday, with 605. They also announced three new deaths Tuesday.

In Tarrant County, there are now a total of 12,344 COVID-19 cases and 228 deaths.

RELATED: Interactive map of Texas COVID-19 cases