Jenkins Aims to Lessen Burden of Virus on Local Health Care Systems

“Let me just be blunt. We don’t have enough tests," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

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Officials are working behind the scenes to ensure local health care systems hold up under the demands of COVID-19, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says.

“Let me just be blunt. We don’t have enough tests," he said. "Here in America, we’re having a really hard time getting tests."

In Dallas County, Jenkins said work was being done to equip medical professionals for whatever may come.

“We are working hard to increase bed capacity. We’re not going to make announcements on that on the opening of hospitals or things of this nature, but we are doing what is necessary to create more beds,” he said.

Jenkins teamed up with health systems adviser Peter Urbanowicz to serve as a go-between county leaders and medical professionals.

While stay-at-home measures may vary from county to county, Urbanowicz, who is volunteering his time in his role, said Dallas-Fort Worth area hospitals are working together.

“Hospital CEOs, medical directors, supply chain directors, have been talking daily, sometimes more than daily, on an organized basis so that we have a unified approach to caring for patients,” Urbanowicz said.

He said the goal was to maximize capacity and get supplies and equipment to hospitals as needed. Because supplies are short, he said Dallas County would have to be the answer to its own problems.

Jenkins added a plea to retired physicians and nurses.

“If you would be willing to come back into the field of service at this critical time for our region and our nation, we need you,” he said.

Jenkins said gloves and other personal protective equipment have been requested from the state.

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