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City of Dallas Updates

03/16/20

Dear City of Dallas Partner:

I wanted to provide you with an update on COVID-19 in the City of Dallas. Below and attached are some helpful resources and information you are welcome to share:

  • The number of presumptive COVID-19 cases in Dallas County and nearby counties (below);
  • Information on small business loan programs and other financial relief resources being offered by the city, state, and federal government (below);
  • Information on the new emergency regulations the City of Dallas released today relating to the closure of bars, restaurants, and other businesses and a restriction on community gatherings:
  • Information about an administrative reset for jury trials issued by Judge Preston Robinson (attached);
  • Graphics in English and Spanish explaining the new restrictions in plain terms (attached – please share); and
  • Other helpful information.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at (214) 670-3301 if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. You can also find more information about the City of Dallas’ COVID-19 response and answers to frequently asked questions about the virus here.

Together, we will face this challenge, and Dallas will bounce back stronger than ever.

Until then, please continue to practice and encourage social distancing.

Best regards,

Eric Johnson

Mayor
City of Dallas

1500 Marilla Street, 5EN Dallas, TX 75201
O: 214-670-3301
eric.johnson@dallascityhall.com

Dallas Emergency RegulationsDallas Emergency Regulations Espanol

 

 

03/14/20

Dear City of Dallas Partner:

Below and attached are some important updates regarding COVID-19 and the City of Dallas’ response and actions taken to slow the spread.

The updates include:

  • Information on the number of cases currently in Dallas County;
  • Information about the closure of all City of Dallas libraries, neighborhood cultural centers, recreation centers and community centers (press release);
  • Information about Atmos suspending natural gas disconnections during this time (attached);
  • Information about the proclamation I issued declaring a local state of disaster in the City of Dallas that included directives to the city manager to restrict gatherings within the city limits to no more than 500 people and to require that all public, private, and commercial labs report the number of COVID-19 tests conducted on a daily basis to the City (press release and copy of the proclamation; newsletter explaining why I took this important step);
  • Information on the order the city manager released yesterday with these directives (press release; official order attached); and
  • Information about actions members of the public can take NOW to slow the spread of COVID-19 and some frequently asked questions about the virus (attached, Español).

To keep the public informed and ensure that we are doing everything in our power to slow the spread of COVID-19, I have called a special meeting of the Dallas City Council for next Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Various local governmental entities, including the City of Dallas, will share updates on COVID-19 response and preparations. The meeting agenda can be found here. The meeting will be live-streamed here. We are encouraging members of the public to tune in online from home.

I consider you an important partner to the City of Dallas, and I hope you will share these updates with members of your community as we handle this challenge collectively.

Please look out for more updates very soon. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, reach out to my office at (214) 670-3301.

Best regards,
Eric Johnson

Mayor
City of Dallas

1500 Marilla Street, 5EN Dallas, TX 75201
O: 214-670-3301
eric.johnson@dallascityhall.com

03/09/2020

As of today (03/09/20), there are NO confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city of Dallas or Dallas County. There is a report of a Collin County resident that was “presumptive positive” for COVID-19.

The status of the City’s planning and preparedness efforts are listed below:

  • OEM and leadership met at 11 a.m. to continue discussing planning and steps to take as testing becomes more prevalent.
  • In light of the “presumptive positive” case in Collin County, PAO will distribute a press release tonight to ensure residents and media the City is working diligently on preparedness efforts. The release that went out to the media can be found here.
  • Convention and Event Services (CES) has received various inquiries on the possible cancelation of the St. Patrick’s Day parade this weekend. At this time, events permitted through CES will resume as scheduled. A statement is attached and will be distributed to event organizers.
  • OEM, PAO, DFR, and DPD have developed messaging – including short messages for social media and a press release – for when we have a first COVID-19 positive patient.
  • OEM continues to participate in national and regional conference calls with our counterparts in other areas to coordinate policy, procedure and best practices for responding to COVID-19. This includes a daily conference call with Dallas County Health and Human Services, which began today.
  • Answers to questions regarding general COVID-19 symptoms/prevention etc. can be found at dallascityhall.com/coronavirus and the links provided within that page.
  • Guidance on travel and related questions are available at CDC’s website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. Rocky Vaz was interviewed earlier this afternoon by Dallas Morning News about the City’s Emergency Preparedness plans during this time.

Additionally, below is the guidance we received this afternoon from Dallas County Health and Human Services.

We have seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S. and we expect the number of cases to increase over the next few days. While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County, we are preparing for any level of response that may be needed. It is not the time to panic, but it is the time to prepare.

As part of our preparation, we are reaching out to long-term care facilities to encourage you to prepare a plan to respond to a potential COVID-19 outbreak in Dallas County. As we have seen in Seattle, residents of long-term care facilities are at heightened risk of serious complications from COVID-19 due to the close living conditions and vulnerability of patients. DCHHS recommends that long-term care facilities take immediate actions to prepare for a potential COVID-19 outbreak in our community.

To assist in your planning, the CDC has issued guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Some of the key recommendations from the CDC guidance include:

  • Take steps to prevent the introduction of respiratory germs into your facility. Consider restricting visitors to your facility. Post signs at the entrance of your facility instructing visitors not to visit if they have symptoms of respiratory infection. The CDC has examples for signs your facility can use. Encourage employees to stay home if they are sick.
  • Monitor residents and employees for fever or respiratory symptoms. Isolate residents with fever or acute respiratory symptoms to their room, except for medically necessary procedures.
  • Identify dedicated employees to care for COVID-19 patients and provide infection control training, such as the CDC’s free online training course — The Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Training.
  • Support hand and respiratory hygiene, as well as cough etiquette by residents, visitors, and employees. Make hygiene products like hand sanitizer, soap and paper towels are easily assessable for residents and employees.
  • Notify facilities prior to transferring a resident with an acute respiratory illness, including suspected or confirmed COVID-19, to a higher level of care.

Additionally, you need to prepare your organization as a business for the effect that a potential COVID-19 outbreak would have on your operations, such as the loss of staff or volunteers due to illness. The CDC has issued interim guidance for businesses and employers, which includes considerations for determining how to respond to a potential COVID-19 outbreak. Some of the key considerations are:

  • Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee or volunteer absences due to illness in employees and their family members, or due to employees needing to stay home to watch their children if schools or after school programs are suspended
  • Explore whether you can establish policies and practices to increase the physical distance among employees, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts)
  • Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace is able to operate even if key staff members are absent
  • Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).

DCHHS will continue to provide updates to the community about COVID-19. Attached is a Frequently Asked Question handout with additional information on best practices and you can also visit the DCHHS COVID-19 webpage, which can be found HERE. You can also call DCHHS at 972-692-2780 between the hours of 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM, Monday - Friday.

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