As Dallas County announced a record 300 new cases Wednesday, the city’s Health and Healthcare Access Czar Dr. Kelvin Baggett shared an update saying it’s unlikely Dallas has hit its peak.
“There are also some concerns and I have them too as for what these large group protests will mean for the spread of the virus, and I want you to know we’re doing what we can,” said Dr. Kelvin Baggett.
Baggett believes it will take anywhere from five days to two weeks to know how daily protests will impact the number of cases.
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Wednesday, the county opened a walk-up testing site open to anyone who’d participated in rallies or protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death. It will do the same Thursday.
Baggett said the city’s also working with other agencies to make sure there’s testing in place no matter how long protests continue.
In addition, Dallas plans to unveil several new walk-up testing sites over the coming week.
Baggett said they’ll target vulnerable communities, especially those with high Hispanic populations where there is a disproportionate growth of positive cases.
“I’ve spent a lot of time over the last week meeting with leaders in the Hispanic community understanding what we’re seeing there and understanding some of the cultural and other considerations and also how we put testing closer to them and within their community,” said Baggett.
Wednesday, he said when it comes to the number of ICU beds, ventilators and PPE supply, the city’s hospitals stand ready for a surge or spike in cases.
For now, he said the city remains focused on increasing access to testing and helping the county roll out more contact tracing as they study the data to understand what this current growth trend will mean in the weeks to come.