New free COVID-19 testing site opens and more Dallas city news
In this roundup of Dallas news, the coronavirus is keeping Dallas schools closed for a few more weeks — and also keeping Dallas city employees on furlough for a few more months.
Residents of far east Dallas get a new COVID-19 testing site — but they also lose a freeway exit.
And a Dallas police officer escapes indictment on a high-profile murder case.
Here's what's happening in Dallas city news:
COVID-19 test site for far east Dallas
A new COVID-19 testing site will open Monday August 3 at Eastfield College in Mesquite. This is a testing site that was previously at the University of Dallas in Irving, but is being moved to the Eastfield campus.
Tests take place Monday-Saturday from 7 am-1 pm, in the La Prada Drive parking lot entrance. Screenings are free for residents of Dallas and Dallas County, but you need to verify your address with a utility bill or library card.
A maximum of 500 tests will be given each day and administered first-come first-serve. A full list of test sites can be found at Coronavirus-Testing-Sites.aspx or call 214-670-INFO.
Mata gets off
A Dallas County grand jury declined to indict Dallas Police Association President Michael Mata, who was accused of tampering with evidence following the 2018 shooting of Botham Jean by police officer Amber Guyger.
After Guyger called 911, she was placed in a squad car. Dashcam footage shows Mata tell Guyger not to talk to anyone, and ask a sergeant to turn off the car's camera. Mata's attorney Robert Rogers said that Mata's actions were consistent with Dallas Police Department policy. Guyger is serving a 10-year sentence.
Dallas ISD date pushed back
On July 23, Dallas ISD trustees voted to start the fall school year on September 8, three weeks later than the planned start date of August 17 and the first day allowed by Dallas County Health and Human Services, which issued an order preventing in-person classes before September 7.
Dallas ISD will have a blend of in-person and online classes for the fall semester. Parents have until August 25 to decide whether to enroll their children for in-person classes or online. Students who begin the semester online won't be able to switch to in-person until the end of the grading period, but students who begin in person can switch to online.
City employees furloughed
More than 400 Dallas city employees who've been furloughed since May had their furlough extended until September 30. The furloughs are due to the continued closures of libraries, recreation centers, and other services.
I-30 exit closes permanently
The eastbound I-30 exit to Northwest Drive will be permanently closed beginning August 3. Drivers headed eastbound on I-30 who want to access Northwest Drive will need to use Exit 56A, prior to Gus Thomasson Road. In addition to the exit ramp closure, the Northwest Drive entrance ramp to westbound I-30 will also be closed permanently. Local traffic will be able to access westbound I-30 by continuing along the frontage road and using the entrance ramp just west of Gus Thomasson Road.
It's part of the 635 East Project, a $1.7 billion, 11-mile project by the Texas Department of Transportation designed to improve Interstate 635 in Dallas County.