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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins responds to Gov. Abbott's 'essential services protocol'

And more from the judge in today's press briefing for Dallas County.

After Governor Greg Abbott instituted an "essential services and activities protocol" Tuesday that called for Texans to stay home except for when conducting essential business, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins spoke about what that order means for Dallas County residents at a press conference.

Jenkins said Dallas County is already doing what Abbott's order says. He said the only thing that would have superseded the Dallas County shelter-in-place order already in effect would be Abbott's allowance of religious activities by following guidelines restricting gatherings to less than 10 people, but that Dallas-area religious leaders worked together to figure out a way to lend streaming gear and facilities so that church services could continue online.

Jenkins also clarified his Sunday remarks about nursing homes. If your loved one is at a nursing home that has a positive COVID-19 case and you want to take them home, they must test negative before you can take them home. If your family member is at any other nursing facility in Dallas County, you can take them home without getting tested, Jenkins said.

RELATED: Family faces challenges bringing home loved one from long-term care facility as COVID-19 outbreak continues in Dallas County

If you do have a loved one at one of the facilities that have positive tests, Jenkins said Parkland Hospital will test those residents and allow healthy residents to leave sooner if they have a negative test result.

"We're going to do everything we can to get those tests for you," Jenkins said.

RELATED: Arlington senior living facility upset hospital didn't share COVID-19 test results

There are now 27 total cases of COVID-19 at Dallas County nursing homes, Dr. Philip Huang said at the press conference. 

Those cases include:

  • Monticello West - 1 resident, 1 staff
  • Skyline - 17 residents
  • Edgemere - 4 residents, 2 staff (2 of 4 residents died)
  • Reserve at Richardson —1 confirmed positive
  • Westridge Nursing Home -1 staff confirmed positive

Jenkins also gave the following updates:

  • At midnight, all public, private and commercial labs in the county must report every day at 5 p.m. the number of COVID-19 tests done and the number of tests that were positive. System hospitals and the county hospital must also report the number of beds and ventilators available and occupied. 
  • There is a "critical shortage" of personal protective equipment in Dallas County and Jenkins urged anyone with the capacity to manufacture them to come forward. 
  • Certain grocers will suspend charges to cash checks for people who don't have banks.
  • Jenkins expects the county-wide shelter-in-place order to be extended when the commissioner's court meets
  • Jenkins will ask Gov. Abbott for tax appraisal relief in the near future.

Watch the full press conference below.

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