Dallas County

Testing ‘Desperately Needed' in Dallas County, Judge Submits Formal Request for Resources

Dallas County reported ten coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday

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Dallas County reported ten coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday. It’s the county’s highest number of fatalities seen in a single day. It’s part of the reason why County Judge Clay Jenkins says there’s still a tremendous need for more resources in North Texas.

“I think these numbers illustrate that we are in the middle of this,” said Jenkins.

Judge Jenkins says Dallas County has not yet peaked.

He said tests have become more of a priority than hospital beds.

“Testing is what we desperately need right now,” Jenkins said.

A STAR request was submitted to increase testing at Parkland Hospital and UT Southwestern.

Jenkins says the two facilities have pieces of the puzzle – hands to administer the tests – just not enough tests themselves.

“We have the people-power and the machines to do 1,600 a day,” said Jenkins.

Right now though he says Parkland can complete roughly 120 tests per day.

“The reason that that’s 120 is the amount of reagents and kits that we have will only allow us to do an average of about 120 a day,” he said.

If the request is granted, tests would be available to thousands more people at government funded testing sites, not counting private labs, but with Dallas County’s curve flattening, there’s a question about whether North Texas is a priority when it comes to funding.

“Now there are, as they put it, fires around the United States that are bigger than ours,” Jenkins said.

Also, at today’s press conference, Jenkins said models indicate local hospitals have the capacity to meet the needs of COVID-19 patients.

Ultimately, this could mean the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center will not be needed as a pop-up hospital.

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