Coronavirus News

Dallas is declared local state of disaster and limits public gatherings

Dallas is declared local state of disaster and limits public gathering

Kendrick Lamar March Madness Music Festival crowd
Crowds like this, no longer OK. Photo by Killy

UPDATE 3-27-2020: The Dallas City Council has extended the city's disaster status until April 29. According to WFAA, Mayor Eric Johnson asked City Council members to consider leaving the declaration in place indefinitely, but a majority of the council members said they wanted to set a date and then reassess.

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Dallas has been declared a local state of disaster, via a March 12 proclamation by Mayor Eric Johnson, in response to evidence of community spread of COVID-19 within the city.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins also issued a proclamation restricting gatherings across the county to 500 people.

In addition, all public, private, and commercial labs are now required to report the number of COVID-19 tests conducted on a daily basis.

The proclamation also provides the city manager the ability to enact other measures intended to protect the health and welfare of the public.

"Given the evidence of community spread of COVID-19, this was a necessary step that gives the City the authority to do what it needs to do to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of our residents," says Mayor Johnson in a release. "We must do all that we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent serious illness and deaths in our city."

The proclamation comes in consultation with Dallas County, which is the City's public health authority, and other cities in the county.

The proclamation takes effect immediately and will expire on March 20, unless renewed by the Dallas City Council. A special City Council meeting has been called for Wednesday, March 18, to discuss the city and county's COVID-19 response and preparations.

According to the release, the mayor intends to place the renewal of the proclamation on the meeting's agenda.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the City’s web page, www.dallascityhall.com/coronavirus.