Dallas County on Saturday reported five additional deaths and 134 more positive cases of the new coronavirus.
“Today’s five deaths bring our weekly fatalities to 33, which is the deadliest week so far and 55% of all COVID19 deaths in Dallas County," county Judge Clay Jenkins said in a written statement. "Today’s number of new cases is the most we have ever reported."
The five additional deaths include a Grand Prairie man in his 80s, a University Park woman in her 90s and three residents of long-term care facilities -- two men and a woman, all in their 70s.
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All the residents had been hospitalized.
The new confirmed cases bring the county's total to 2,324 cases and 60 deaths.
"This is why we must limit unnecessary trips, wear a cloth covering at essential business and continue making good personal responsibility decisions," Jenkins said.
A new order that went into effect at midnight Saturday requires, "to the greatest extent possible," that people older than 2 years old wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth when they go to an essential business or use public transportation.
In an interview Saturday, Jenkins said it's a precaution that grows even more important as Texas moves forward with a plan to slowly reopen the economy.
“Think how demoralizing it would be if all of the sacrifice that we’ve done gets us out of our house for three weeks, and then we have to go back in. Nobody wants that. So the best way that we make that not happen is that we all keep making those good personal responsibility decisions," Jenkins said.
Jenkins went on to say that spacing out each phase of Gov. Greg Abbott's plan would be crucial to make sure there's not a second wave of the virus, along with testing.
“The testing is not at that point. Every day, we spend hours each day of a lot of people’s time, including my time, to get more testing," Jenkins said.
He said there have been recent successes, including testing sites from Walgreens last week, the doubling of testing capacity at the county's drive-thru sites and 100 additional tests a day for mobile Parkland strike teams going to nursing homes and mobility challenged neighborhoods.
He said he hoped as early as next week, the county would have the resources needed to turn UT Southwestern and Parkland into super testing sites that could process tests from all over the county with a one-day turnaround time.
But as the number of cases continues to climb and doctors estimate the peak is still at least a couple of weeks away, Jenkins urged personal responsibility remains key.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.
How to Avoid COVID-19 Infection:
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
*Information shared from the Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott