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Student at Dallas middle school tests positive for coronavirus; city closes playgrounds

Revised to include comments from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

A student at a Dallas ISD middle school has tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The student at J.L. Long Middle School, near the Junius Heights neighborhood in Old East Dallas, attended two classes Friday morning before being sent home after seeing a nurse, principal Chandra Hooper-Barnett wrote in a letter to parents.

The student, who had not been symptomatic before Friday, received a positive COVID-19 test result Monday night, Hooper-Barnett said. The student is at home and is doing well, she said.

DISD spokeswoman Robyn Harris said calls have been made to families who needed to be informed of the student’s condition.

Trustee Dustin Marshall, who represents the area that includes Long, wrote on Facebook that county and district officials were working to identify whom the child had contact with. He noted that the student did not have younger siblings.

District officials did not say what grade the child was in.

Dallas Latest News County Judge Clay Jenkins said the middle-schooler was not among the 28 cases Dallas County had reported as of Tuesday morning.

He said that each morning, the county announces completed cases — those in which the patient has a positive test result and health officials have finished a trace interview of the patient.

If the interview isn’t finished before the cut-off time each morning, it will be reported the following day, he said.

Jenkins declined to give the student’s age or gender, citing concerns over bullying.

“We’ve all been in middle school, and we’ve all been bullied in middle school,” he said.

He said he expects the virus will sicken many more young people.

“In all likelihood we’ve had many, many more people who’ve already had mild symptoms of this and have not been tested,” he said. “We’ve got have compassion for people in our community who get sick.”

More cases in Dallas County
Dallas County reported nine more COVID-19 cases Tuesday morning, bringing its total to 28.

The new patients are two women in their 20s, a man in his 30s, a man and a woman in their 40s, two women in their 50s, a man in his 60s and a woman in her 70s.

Five of the patients were hospitalized, including three in critical-care units, health officials said. The four others were self-isolating.

The three in critical care are in their 20s, 30s and 60s, the county said Tuesday afternoon.

Eight of the patients are Dallas residents, and the ninth lives in Irving.

Three of them are close contacts of another person confirmed to have COVID-19, Press Release Distribution Service and one case is related to recent travel abroad. But it’s likely the five other patients were infected through community spread of the new coronavirus, health authorities said.

Of the 28 total cases, four are out-of-county residents and won’t be reflected in data posted on the Dallas County Health and Human Services website.

New Tarrant County case

Tarrant County reported its sixth positive test for the new coronavirus Tuesday — the first apparent case of community spread in the county.

The patient is a Grand Prairie resident who had not traveled recently and had no known exposure to anyone else with COVID-19, health officials said. Because of this, officials say it’s a presumptive case of local transmission of the virus.

The patient has been in isolation at home since developing symptoms, according to Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja, who declined to give details about the patient because of privacy laws.

Second Denton County case
Denton County said its second case of the virus, which was confirmed Tuesday, was travel-related.

The patient is a Prosper woman in her 50s who was isolated at home, officials said.

Health officials were working to identify and notify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus through contact with the woman.

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