New guidelines that allow certain asymptomatic workers to be tested for COVID-19 is likely behind a spike in new cases reported April 30 in Dallas County, according to County Judge Clay Jenkins.

As of 11 a.m. April 30, 179 additional cases had been confirmed, which is the county's highest daily case count yet, Jenkins said. This brings Dallas County's total number of cases to 3,531, including 104 deaths.

Five new deaths are being reported April 30 as well, including a Balch Springs man in his 20s.

“[Dallas County Health & Human Services] epidemiologists tell us that the increase stems from a change in [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines allowing our front-line workers, like grocery store and big-box store employees, to be tested without symptoms at our drive-thru locations,” he said.

Evidence of growing case counts is all the more reason for residents to carefully weigh the risk of venturing out into the public once stay-at-home orders lift and many businesses reopen May 1, Jenkins said.

“It’s beautiful weather, and we’ve been cooped up for over a month, but the underlying advice based on science from the health experts has not changed,” Jenkins said.

More Dallas County COVID-19 updates can be found here.