DALLAS — Thursday, Dallas County saw its highest number of daily positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says it's a reminder that the coronavirus is still a very real threat.
Jenkins urges demonstrators to exercise caution while out protesting over police brutality. Basic social distancing rules should be followed when possible: six feet clearance, wearing masks, and using hand sanitizer.
The county says it has supplied groups that attend rallies with hand sanitizer and masks through corporate donations.
In Dallas County, there were 285 new positive cases of COVID-19 reported today. There have been 22 deaths since Sunday. That puts the county on pace the have its deadliest week.
There was concern that when state rules were relaxed, there would be a surge in cases.
On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott announced a Phase 3 reopening of the economy, which allows businesses to allow for 50% seating capacity.
Dr. Philip Huang of Dallas County Health and Human Services says there has been very concentrated testing at nursing homes, so that may skew numbers. He is encouraged we're not seeing exponential surges in cases.
It is too early to tell how the protests shift the number of positive cases. The judge wants to remind people there is testing available, and also a special effort for officers to get tested too.
"Help us keep you safe and your families safe. I'm concerned about the officers. When I see 100 people shoulder to shoulder in a deal where we have COVID, which you have no immunity for, that's a real concern," Jenkins said.
The judge says the county has reached a deal with the feds to offer up to 1,000 tests a day. They'll target places like halfway homes, homeless encampments and nursing homes.
Jenkins will announce an effort to bring two walk-up testing sites in South Dallas on Friday.