DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As Dallas County crosses the 2,000 mark of confirmed coronavirus cases, officials will be requiring visitors and employees at essential businesses to cover their faces, Judge Clay Jenkins announced Thursday.
County officials announced 80 more positive COVID-19 cases, bringing to the total to 2,066. There are also now 50 deaths from the coronavirus in the county after officials reported seven more Thursday.
All seven of the new deaths were patients who had been hospitalized. Three of them were residents at long-term care facilities in Dallas.
Along with an update to the cases and deaths, Jenkins also tweeted that residents who visit essential businesses, employees of those businesses and riders of public transportation will be required to wear some type of covering on their face.
To better protect you and our frontline heroes, we are requiring all visitors to essential businesses, essential business employees and riders of public transportation to wear a cloth covering starting Saturday.
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) April 16, 2020
This requirement will begin Saturday, Jenkins said.
“There are a lot more cars on the roads this week. That’s a concern. If a few of us slack off on making good personal responsibility decisions we not only put #publichealth at risk but are prolonging this for ourselves and everyone,” Jenkins tweeted.
Dallas County has the second most cases in Texas. Residents in the county remain under a stay at home order as cases continue to increase. The order is in effect until at least April 30 but can be extended if needed.
Dallas County has recently seen an increase in testing capabilities. The two drive-thru sites in Dallas recently doubled their number of tests allowed from 250 per day to 500.
Both of those sites at the American Airlines Center and Ellis Davis Field House in the Red Bird area have also switched to self-swab kits that are “less invasive” for those needing to be tested.
Officials said anyone over the age of 65 or with chronic health issues can be tested even if they aren’t showing any symptoms at those two locations. All other residents must show symptoms of a dry cough, shortness of breath and a temperature of 99.6 or higher if they want to be tested.
Jenkins said Wednesday that Walgreens will be opening a testing location at 2060 South Buckner Boulevard in Dallas within the next several days.