Dallas County Leaders Urge Caution At Protests As Pandemic Far From Over

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 285 more positive COVID-19 cases, bringing the total case count in Dallas County to 11,243, including 250 deaths.

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The additional death being reported today is of a DeSoto man in his 60s who had been critically ill in an area hospital. He had underlying high risk health conditions.

“Today we saw the highest number of new cases on record for COVID-19,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “We’ve seen a significant increase this week for the average number of daily cases from last week.”

Of the 250 total deaths reported to date, more than one-third have been associated with long-term care facilities.

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Judge Jenkins went on to say in a statement on the latest coronavirus case numbers:

“It’s particularly important that you avoid crowds at this time, maintain 6 foot distancing and wear a cloth face covering when on public transportation or at businesses, plus exercise good hygiene and wash your hands frequently. Carry hand sanitizer when you don’t have the ability to wash frequently, particularly if you are going to a gathering with people outside your home. Face coverings have been shown by scientific studies to be more beneficial both to you and those around you than originally thought and there’s growing evidence that they’re more protective than we thought even last month. Therefore, please wear a face covering when you go out to businesses to protect yourself but also to protect those around you and as an act of solidarity with the community concern of others who don’t want to get sick.

I’m very concerned about the health of our peaceful protesters and their families. They’ve been protesting for several days now and large gatherings are definitely not recommended by public health experts at this time. I do understand the importance of the quintessential American right of free speech and particularly with this important issue at this critical time in our country’s history. We’re going to do everything we can to keep the protesters safe and to that end, I want to see the protesters have the opportunity to get tested as soon as possible. We will be working on test sites very near where you are located and you are more than welcome. Protesters can already access the drive-thru sites at the American Airlines Center and Ellis Davis Field House.

In a partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, we’ve secured 1,000 hand sanitizers and 1,000 masks, which my office has given out to community organizers like Mothers Against Police Brutality and also to the Dallas Police Department. Those will be available for people who are at the protest and don’t have hand sanitizer or a mask. I ask that you please consider using sanitizer frequently when you can’t wash your hands. If possible though, please wash your hands, please wear the mask, and maintain a 6 foot distance.

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We can peacefully protest and be heard at a 6 foot distance and it is important to keep you safe. COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color, both nationally and here locally and we’ve lost 250 people already since March. So please do all you can to keep yourself safe, make those smart decisions and download the guidelines for activities from local health experts here.”