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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says Dallas is 'in the middle' of its coronavirus fight

As Dallas County announced its highest one-day COVID-19 death toll, Judge Clay Jenkins said the peak is projected for the end of April or early May.

DALLAS — Three weeks to the day after Dallas County’s stay-at-home order went into effect, the county announced 10 COVID-19 related deaths, its highest one-day total.

The victims range from a man in his 30s to a woman in her 90s.

Five of them lived at Brentwood Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities in the city of Dallas.

The other victims lived in Garland, Mesquite and DeSoto.

“Today is somber news,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in a Tuesday afternoon news conference. “We lost 10 people today.”

Jenkins also announced 89 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

That number has remained relatively steady, he said, slightly below or slightly above 100 for several days.

“I think these numbers illustrate that we are in the middle of this,” Jenkins said.

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Phillip Huang said the spike in deaths isn't alarming.

“Probably these deaths represent maybe infections that occurred a couple weeks ago. We can expect that these might continue to increase for a while,” Huang said.

RELATED: COVID-19 live updates: More than 100 coronavirus-related deaths reported in North Texas

Tuesday marked three weeks since Dallas County’s stay-at-home order went into effect, and there is evidence that it is making a difference, Huang said.

He said the infection rate is slowing because people have obeyed the order.

“It’s working, but all the projections are dependent on everyone continuing to vigilantly adhere to them,” he said.

Jenkins said he knows people are getting antsy wanting to return to some sense of normalcy, but he said now is not the time to do so.

“We are looking at a peak now that is either the end of this month, or maybe the beginning of next month,” he said. “I can’t stress how important it is that you don’t let up now.”

Jenkins also said Tuesday he is working to obtain substantially more chemical reagents and equipment to vastly increase testing abilities in North Texas – specifically at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Hospital.  

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