DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins practiced social distancing and participated in a video interview concerning the COVID-19 crisis with the Texas Tribune in Austin on Tuesday.
Right off the top Judge Jenkins, who has served as the county’s judge since 2011, said there were at least 10 more deaths that would be reported on Tuesday. The announcement was made official at around 1 p.m.
In a news release, health officials announced that five of those deaths were residents of long-term care facilities in Dallas. Three of those five had been hospitalized.
Four of the other deceased patients were a man in his 30s, two men in their 50s and a man in his 80s. These four had also been hospitalized.
One of the reported deaths was a man in 80s who was found dead inside his home in DeSoto.
Along with the deaths, the county also reported 89 new cases, which brought the total of confirmed cases to 1,877.
“Today, we mourn the passing of ten more of our residents. My hearts goes out to their families and all who are suffering during this pandemic. Evidence continues to mount that the aggressive move to shelter in place on March 22 is #FlatteningTheCurve in Dallas County and North Texas, we are in the middle of this fight and we must not waver from the exercise of sound personal decision-making and smart physical distancing. I’m proud the actions North Texans are taking to protect themselves and #publichealth,” Jenkins said in the release.
During the interview with the Texas Tribune, Jenkins said information from UT Southwestern Medical Center and and Baylor University Medical Center Dallas show that the ‘safer at home’ model, instituted on March 22, is flattening the curve.
“We’re in the middle, we’re not at the end and so we just have to stay focused on the mission and the mission for everyone is personal responsibility, make good choices and don’t let up now,” he said.
Jenkins also said that the peak day for the county has been moved from late May to the end of April or the beginning of May.
The judge said the key right now is to have more testing available, because he says testing gives officials visibility as to what is going on. “We worked over the weekend on a plan for UT Southwestern…. to be able to do 5,000 tests a day and for Parkland to be able to do 1,600 tests a day.”
Jenkins did not say if the stay-at-home order would be extended past the April 30 expiration as it is too early to make the call at this moment.
There are also concerns about feeding families and families finding the food and supplies they need during the crisis. “The North Texas Food Bank covers 13 counties, and right now what we’re seeing is 70% of the people that are going to the North Texas Food Bank for food are new, they’ve never been there before since the coronavirus.”