Mask mandate extended in Tarrant County as county officials report new daily record for COVID-19 deaths

There was a new one-day high of 18 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Tarrant County on Friday.

The previous high was less than a week ago, when 15 deaths were reported.

Among the 18 deaths reported Friday was a man in his 30s.

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The deaths reflect the county’s situation a few weeks ago, though ER visits and ICU admissions are down slightly for people with COVID-19 in Tarrant County.

The number of  new coronavirus cases remain steady.

The seven-day average was at just over 500 cases reported daily.

The deaths lag from the spike Texas has seen in cases over the past month.

“Tarrant County saw the peak number of cases around July 7th, July 6th, so it wouldn’t be unusual that, three to four weeks later, we are now seeing a peak number of deaths,” Dr. Diana Cervantes, who was the state’s chief epidemiologist during the Ebola response.

COVID-19 ER visits and admissions to ICU beds are down slightly since the beginning of the month.

Friday, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley extended the county's mask mandate, which was set to expire Monday, through August 31.

It basically reinforces Governor Greg Abbott's statewide mask order that does not have an end date.

“Masks, it’s been shown now time and time again, they do help prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19,” Dr. Cervantes added.

Cervantes is glad local leaders are following the science, which says masks are effective.

“You want to have a partnership with the public, and when there’s a large portion of the public that’s pushing back, you want to be careful with mandates,” she explained.

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