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COVID updates: Dallas County reports highest ever number of confirmed cases Thursday

Dallas County confirmed 285 new cases of the novel coronavirus and one death.
Credit: AP
Julie Janke, a medical technologist at Principle Health Systems and SynerGene Laboratory, loads a sample for COVID-19 antibody testing Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Updated with numbers for Tarrant and Johnson counties and comments from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

For the second time in less than a week, Dallas County reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases for a single day to date.

County officials confirmed 285 cases on Thursday, as well as one coronavirus-related death. The new numbers mean Dallas County has reported 250 deaths and 11,243 positive cases since testing began in March.

Two days ago, Dallas County health officials reported a record number of COVID-19 cases and its highest-ever death total. 

There were 257 new positive cases and 16 deaths related to COVID-19 reported on Tuesday.

That is higher than the two previous dates, May 5 and May 11, which both reported 253 positive cases and tied for the most positive cases reported in a single day.

"We've seen a significant increase this week for the average number of daily cases from last week," Judge Clay Jenkins said in a news release, "and it's up to all of us to #FlattenTheCurve."

Jenkins said Thursday that the county has come to a federal agreement to add 1,000 tests a day. He said those tests will be conducted throughout the community, including at homeless encampments, nursing homes and communal living facilities. 

RELATED: Here are the confirmed cases of coronavirus in Dallas County

RELATED: These are the confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

The increase comes as Texas continues to reopen its economy and major cities see large demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, put more people in contact with each other after months of social distancing.

On Monday, Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services Dr. Philip Huang said it was very concerning to see people gathering so close together during weekend protests in Dallas.

Dallas county officials encouraged anyone taking part in the protests to wear a mask, wash their hands and maintain a 6-foot distance from others.

They announced a partnership with the Dallas Mavericks to provide 1,000 hand sanitizers and 1,000 masks that will be distributed by community organizers to demonstrators who don't have them.

Jenkins said all protesters can get tested for the novel coronavirus and he assured them during a Thursday afternoon news conference that their names won't be shared with police.

The impacts of those events could show in test results in the next week to 10 days.

Tarrant County reports 102 new cases

Tarrant County health officials Thursday reported 102 new cases of the novel coronavirus. They also reported five additional deaths. 

That brings the county totals since testing began in March to 5,863 positive confirmed cases and 173 deaths.

The counties highest single day came on May 9 when 479 cases were reported. 

RELATED: Here are the confirmed cases of coronavirus in Tarrant County

Johnson County says 2 new cases are connected to existing cases

Health officials in Johnson County confirmed two new COVID-19 Thursday. Both were connected to homes that already had positive cases. 

To date, the county has had four deaths and 206 confirmed cases.

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