City of Dallas COVID-19 Update: March 16

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:

City of Dallas COVID-19 Update: March 16 1
  • 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

**OPEN RECORDS NOTICE: This email and responses may be subject to the Texas Open Records Act and may be disclosed to the public upon request.  Please respond accordingly.**

Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council,

The following is an update on the City’s planning and preparedness efforts regarding the novel (new) coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, as of March 16, 2020. The expectation is that we will see an increase in positive cases over the next several days as testing becomes more widely available in hospitals, county and private labs.

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For a resource on global COVID-19 cases, please visit https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Positive cases of COVID-19

  • 19 cases in Dallas County – four of those cases are out of county residents
  • 8 in Collin County
  • 4 in Tarrant County
  • 1 in Denton County
  • 0 in Kaufman County
  • 0 in Rockwall County

Lab Reports
As of 7:00 p.m. the City of Dallas Office of Emergency Management has received a report from three labs:

  • 169 COVID-19 tests, 5 positive, 45 negative

Financial Assistance

  • loan program has been established by the Small Business Administration, specifically for those impacted by the coronavirus. The Texas Governor must allow the loans to be dispersed, and at least five small businesses in a county must have suffered “substantial economic injury in a disaster area” for the state to make the loans available. More Info can be found here.
  • Vistra, on behalf of TXU, Ambit, and Tri-Eagle electric is going to:
    • Waive late fees

• Extend payment due dates with no down payment required

• Reduce down payments and deferring balances over five equal installments

  • Additionally, for TXU customers, they are providing additional bill payment assistance to customers in need through its TXU Energy AidSM program.
  • For Dallas Water Utilities customers that have been financially impacted due to COVID-19, a 30-day hold will be put on their account without service interruption. 
  • Atmos Energy has a program, “Sharing the Warmth” to aid customers who are being financially impacted by COVID-19. To apply for the program, customers should visit https://www.atmosenergy.com/customer-service/get-help-paying-your-bill

City Operations

  • The City issued a new emergency order today to implement the following new items:
    • Restrict community gatherings to no more than 50 people.
    • A prohibition on dine-in services for restaurants.  Restaurants will only be open for drive-through, drive-in, takeout or delivery only.
    • The closure of bars, lounges, taverns, private clubs, gyms, health studios, theaters and commercial amusement facilities.
  • Dallas County has five additional positive cases. Local public laboratories are no longer required to send “presumptive positive” samples to the CDC for confirmation.  Respiratory samples positive for COVID-19 in a public health laboratory will be considered “positive” with no need for further testing. 
  • Courts and Detention Services is administratively reset all hearings including civil, criminal trials and pre-trial hearings beginning March 18 through May 8 (memo attached).
  • Dallas Love Field is still open for operations. Southwest Airlines (SWA) advised they are not cutting any flights yet. Financially SWA is likely way ahead of other airlines with a $5 billion reserve since all their Super Max planes are out of service.
  • This morning SWA reported outbound flights from Love Field are flying at 38% occupancy, while inbound flights are arriving at 42% occupancy. 
  • The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is working with the federal government regarding remote sample collection sites to be provided in the Dallas area.
  • OHS is operating a temporary, overnight shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center to help with homeless shelter overflow from social distancing recommendations that has created reduced capacity in the other shelters. The shelter is open overnight (5 p.m. to 7 a.m.) through the morning of Saturday, March 21.
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Closures and cancellations

  • Starting Saturday, March 14, 2020, public access is closed to all City of Dallas libraries, neighborhood cultural centers, recreation centers and community centers including West Dallas Multipurpose Center and Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center through Friday, March 20, 2020.
  • For a list of City permitted events that have been canceled visit www.dallasspecialevents.com

Emergency Declarations

  • Dallas County declared a local state of disaster for public health emergency
  • The City of Dallas issued a proclamation declaring a local state of disaster
  • Dallas Mayor and City Manager have put amended emergency regulations in place

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates

We will continue to provide you updates as frequently as necessary. Please contact me or Rocky Vaz at rocky.vaz@dallascityhall.com if you have questions or need additional information.

Thank you,

Jon Fortune

City of Dallas COVID-19 Update: March 16 2

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