Tarrant County man's death marks second Texas fatality from new coronavirus

Posted at 5:12 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 06:12:01-04

Tarrant County health officials confirmed that a “senior adult” this evening who died Sunday tested positive for the new coronavirus.

This is the second death in Texas linked to the virus; on Monday, a man in his late 90s in Matagorda County died after showing symptoms consistent with the illness.

In a statement late Tuesday, Tarrant County officials said they were investigating the possible source of the infection and determining who the patient may have come into contact with.

“On behalf of Tarrant County Public Health, I want to express our deepest sympathy to the family of this person,” public health director Vinny Taneja said in a statement.

While the county declined to provide further details about the patient, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that a family member identified the man as 77-year-old Pat James.

James’ wife, Jean James, was also experiencing symptoms consistent with the virus, the Star-Telegram reported, but couldn't get tested until his results came back positive.

In Texas, there are already more than 70 known cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in the state — a number that’s expected to exponentially rise in the coming days.

Gov. Greg Abbott will hold a joint press conference with Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams tomorrow in Arlington at noon.