Dallas County

Another COVID-19 Record for Dallas County; Masks Required, Enforcement Unclear

County judge amends county order to make Gov. Greg Abbott's recommendations for reopened services a requirement in Dallas County

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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins amended his Safer at Home order Monday to make Gov. Greg Abbott's recommendations for businesses reopening in Dallas County to now be requirements.

Jenkins announced the amendment after confirming that for the second-straight day Dallas County Health and Human Services reported a single-day record number of new COVID-19 cases -- on Monday the county confirmed another 237 cases along with three more deaths.

Jenkins said the numbers show a continued upward trend of positive cases in the county and that he would supplement his "Safer at Home" order, which is in place until May 16, on Monday.

Among the recommendations that are now requirements were that people wear facial coverings when visiting or working in businesses.

For example, if the governor suggested that a business that is allowed to open at 25% capacity have its workers wear mask, the governor's order was an encouragement, not a requirement.

"For instance, when the governor says to the fullest extent possible wear a mask as a recommendation, we would say that's a requirement,” Jenkins said. “When the governor says in a movie theater, let's close every other row and put two seats of separation, that's recommended, we say in Dallas county that's required."

He told NBC 5 Monday that the county doesn't plan to fine individuals, but that code inspectors could fine businesses. The amended order can be seen below.

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Jenkins added on Twitter that the local public health community is advising people limit unnecessary visits to stores or group settings and to wear a face covering when in public to help "flatten the curve."

The latest deaths include three men, two who lived in Dallas and one in Irving. All of the men had been hospitalized.

  • A man in his 60’s who was a resident of the City of Irving, and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A man in his 80’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas, and had been critically ill in an area hospital.
  • A man in his 80’s who was a resident of the City of Dallas, and had been hospitalized.

Dallas County is now reporting a total of 4,370 positive COVID-19 cases. Dallas County has not been releasing statistics on the number of recoveries in the county saying it's not a surveillance variable being used nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or state health departments.

Of cases requiring hospitalization who reported employment, about 79% have been critical infrastructure workers, with a broad range of affected occupational sectors, including: healthcare, transportation, food and agriculture, public works, finance, communications, clergy, first responders and other essential functions.

Of cases requiring hospitalization, 65% have been under 65 years of age and 50% do not have an underlying condition. Diabetes has been an underlying high-risk health condition reported in about a third of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Of the 114 total deaths reported to date, about 40% have been associated with long-term care facilities.

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