Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 285 new cases of the novel coronavirus Thursday, setting a new high for the second time this week. The county also reported one additional death from the coronavirus.
Since the pandemic began in March, DCHHS has reported 11,243 cases of COVID-19 and 250 deaths. The man whose death was reported lived in DeSoto. He was in his 60s and had underlying, high-risk health conditions.
"Today we saw the highest number of new cases on record for COVID-19. We've seen a significant increase this week for the average number of daily cases from last week and it's up to all of us to #FlattenTheCurve," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said on Twitter. "It's particularly important that you avoid crowds at this time, maintain 6 foot distancing and wear a cloth face covering when on public transportation or at businesses, plus exercise good hygiene and wash you hands frequently."
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Jenkins is concerned, he said, about the health of the protesters demonstrating against police violence this week and their families.
"They've been protesting for several days now, and large gatherings are definitely not recommended by public health experts at this time," the judge said. "I do understand the importance of the quintessential American right of free speech and particularly with this important issue at this critical time in our country's history."
Protesters should have the opportunity to get tested as soon as possible, Jenkins said. In partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, the county also plans to give hand sanitizer and masks to as many as 1,000 protesters.