DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Denton County Public Health reported 553 new COVID-19 cases Friday, Dec. 4 along with six more deaths.

The total number of cases in Denton County is now 25,645 with a total death count of 158.

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“We are at a critical point with COVID-19 in our county,” said Denton County Judge Andy Eads. “We must honor the lives of those around us by wearing masks when around anyone we do not live with. Please add these six individuals’ families and friends to your thoughts and prayers and do your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

DCPH says 18,789 county residents have recovered from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

“DCPH is monitoring our shortage of ICU availability today. With only six ICU beds available, there is simply no time for discussion,” said Dr. Matt Richardson, DCPH Director. “Masks and distancing are the only way to help a stressed and critical situation developing in our hospitals. We’re asking everyone to be a part of the solution – comply with the recommendations to help others.”

DCPH is providing a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing center on Tuesday, December 8, at University of North Texas’ Discovery Park at 3940 N Elm St in Denton.

Eligible community members must reside in Denton County, pre-register by calling 940-349-2585, and have not previously tested positive for COVID-19.

Pre-registration is required and appointments are available starting at 8:00 a.m.

The deaths reported Friday include the following:

· A male in his 70s who was a resident of Longmeadow Healthcare Center in Justin

· A male in his 70s who was a resident of Longmeadow Healthcare Center in Justin

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· A male over 80 who was a resident of Autumn Leaves in Carrollton

· A male over 80 who was a resident of Cedar Ridge Rehabilitation in Pilot Point

· A male in his 60s who was a resident of Cedar Ridge Rehabilitation in Pilot Point

· A male over 80 who was a resident of Lewisville

To minimize spread of COVID-19, DCPH urges all community members to:

· Maintain at least six feet of physical distance in public settings and when around individuals outside of the household

· Wear masks or face coverings, which should cover both the nose and mouth, in public settings and when around individuals outside of the household

· Wash and/or sanitize hands frequently

· Stay home if you are symptomatic, have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19, or are awaiting COVID-19 test results

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CBSDFW.com Staff