Latest in Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth: First coronavirus-related death in Keller; Denton County reports 17 deaths

The first death in Keller due to complications from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)
The first death in Keller due to complications from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)

The first death in Keller due to complications from the novel coronavirus has been confirmed. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)

Updated 5:09 p.m. April 20

Denton County Public Health announced April 20 that another Denton County resident has died due to COVID-19, bringing the county’s total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 17.

The patient was a Dallas resident in his 70s, according to public health officials.

“As we report the loss of a seventeenth life to COVID-19 in Denton County today, we hope everyone will take a moment to keep our fellow residents affected by this pandemic in your thoughts and prayers,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads in a statement. “The seriousness of taking precautions cannot be overstated. With community spread endemic in our county, we must continue taking necessary steps to ensure we do not contribute to the problem.”

Officials also announced that an additional five cases of coronavirus have been confirmed locally, bringing the county’s total number of confirmed cases to 598.

So far, 249 residents who were diagnosed with the virus have since recovered and 332 cases remain active.


The city of Keller announced April 18 the city's first death related to complications from the novel coronavirus.

The patient was a Keller resident in her 70s with underlying health conditions, according to a city news release.

“The other council members and I have prayed for every resident battling this illness and [have] celebrated every recovery,” Keller Mayor Pat McGrail said. “Now, we mourn our first loss.”

McGrail said the city and residents can honor the memory of every American who has died from the COVID-19 virus by taking precautions and staying safe.

“This will be a delicate time for all of us as we continue to navigate uncharted waters, and your ongoing patience during this process will be much appreciated,” McGrail said. “I have no doubt in my mind that Keller will make it through this, and our residents will come out better and stronger from this shared experience.”

According to Tarrant County Public Health, there are 21 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in the city of Keller, with one death and six patients who have recovered.

TCPH numbers indicate a total of 1,242 confirmed cases in the county, including 495 in the city of Fort Worth. There are five confirmed cases in ZIP code 76177 and 38 confirmed cases in ZIP code 76244.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued executive orders April 17 that are designed to begin reopening the state’s economy.

Texas retailers will be able to offer to-go services beginning April 24, and surgical restrictions will be lifted April 22 to allow sidelined doctors and nurses to return to work to handle nonessential medical procedures.

Abbott also announced that Texas schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

“From an educator’s point of view, this is certainly not the way we wanted to end the school year,” Keller ISD Superintendent Rick Westfall said. “We are going to do our best to create an amazing opportunity for our kids coming back next year.”
By Ian Pribanic
Ian Pribanic covers city government, transportation, business and education news for Community Impact Newspaper in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth areas. A Washington D.C. native and University of North Texas graduate, Ian was previously an editor for papers in Oklahoma, West Texas and for Community Impact in New Braunfels.


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