Dallas County reports 109 new COVID-19 cases; allows more people to be tested at drive-thru sites

Dallas County health officials reported 109 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, along with the county's 43rd death related to the virus.

This brings the county's total number of cases to 1,986.

The newest death in Dallas County was a Garland woman in her 80s, who did not have underlying health conditions.

This comes a day after Dallas County reported 10 deaths related to the virus, which was the deadliest day to date in the COVID-19 pandemic in the county,

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Dallas County also announced it is doubling its testing with 500 more tests a day from the federal government.

“They’re going to raise the cap to 500 per site. It’s currently 250,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. “So now those test sites will run 1,000 tests a day.”

Last month, the two drive-thru testing sites at Ellis Davis Field House in South Dallas and at the American Airlines Center in Downtown Dallas maxed out testing and closed down early for consecutive days.

Now, not all tests are being used each day. But Judge Jenkins still believes there’s a great need for testing and loosening restrictions so that more people can get tested.

Anyone 65 and up, with underlying conditions, whether they're showing symptoms or not, can now get tested.

Self-swab tests started Wednesday at the field house location.

Walgreen’s selected its store at Buckner and Bruton to begin testing in Dallas, as well as its store on Camp Bowie West in Fort Worth. Both Walgreen’s will have 160 tests a day once up and running. That date undetermined.

“We should be able to accommodate a few extra people,” Jenkins said.

The judge says Dallas has the infrastructure at Parkland and UT Southwestern to process 3,000 more tests each day, but is lacking reagents, the chemical used to get the test results. He says he’s asking the governor’s office for help on that and will implore the congressional delegation.

“We are behind, and that’s very frustrating,” Jenkins said. “But UT Southwestern and Parkland have stepped up as I’ve asked them to. We’re ready to get this done, but we have to get those reagents.”

Elected officials from the president on down have said expanded testing will be key to reopening the economy, telling them where the virus is and where it isn’t.

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