Dallas county updates on the 2019 novel coronavirus cases

COVID Update Dallas County
Mayor Eric Johnson holds a news conference to announce updates to the city’s emergency restrictions. – Photo courtesy of the mayor’s office

Dallas County updates on the 2019 novel coronavirus cases

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

Five additional positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus – known as COVID-19 – were reported Monday in Dallas County by Dallas County Health and Human Services has reported. 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.

The five cases include:

  • One man in his 40’s, one man in his 50’s, one woman in her 50’s, one man in his 60’s, one man in his 70’s.
  • All are self-isolating at residences and are not hospitalized.
  • Three cases are residents of the city of Dallas, one is a resident of the city of Farmers Branch, and one resides out-of-state.
  • Four cases are related to domestic out-of-state travel.
  • One case is likely from local community spread.

Dallas County will not release further information to protect their privacy.

“Significantly, there’s another likely case of community spread among the five cases we are reporting today. I am in consultation with the mayors of the cities in Dallas County and our state and federal partners. We will be announcing additional measures to keep you safe soon,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Dallas County has now reported 19 presumptive positive cases, however, four of those cases are out of county residents and will not be reflected in our case counts posted on the DCHHS website. The case count at the following link will only include county residents:

https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/2019-novel-coronavirus.php

As the numbers of individuals with positive test results has continued to rise, the mayor’s office has repeatedly updated the city’s emergency regulations in an effort to slow down the spread of new cases.

On Monday, Mayor Eric Johnson announced additional emergency restrictions.

“As you might be aware, we have another case of community spread of coronavirus in Dallas County. We have to expect that in the days ahead, we will have more such cases,” he said. “We must take action.

“Accordingly, about an hour ago, I signed a new set of emergency regulations, which will become effective at midnight tonight, to help us slow the spread of coronavirus in Dallas. Under these regulations, community gatherings in Dallas will be restricted to no more than 50 people.”

The city of Dallas has also ordered that all bars, lounges, taverns, night clubs, gyms and health clubs, theaters and entertainment or amusement venues close until further notice.

Restaurants may not open for dine-in services, but may remain open for drive-thru, delivery and take-out service.

Most employees who work within the city of Dallas have a right to paid sick leave. Employees of private businesses and nonprofits with six or more employees in Dallas can use their paid sick leave when they are sick or to care for sick family members.

Johnson stated that he knew what the new regulations would mean for Dallas, a city that he described at “robust” with a “diverse community.”

 

“When I took the step last week of issuing a disaster declaration, I told you all that the economic consequences of this action were not lost on me,” he expressed. “These further restrictions weighed heavily on me, as well. I understand the pain this decision will create.

“Your city government is taking the steps it deems necessary to flatten the curve of this global pandemic and save lives. And we are going to get through this because the people of Dallas are strong.”

Additionally, the city sent reminders the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to seek medical care
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and help young children to do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-base hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve, not your hands.

“We all have parts to play in this fight. Today, we are playing our part by issuing these regulations,” Johnson concluded. “Now it is time for you to play yours. Be responsible. Be patient. Be generous. Be good to one another. And be bigger than yourself.”

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