More Coronavirus cases confirmed in Dallas County; judge issues emergency declaration

The Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting a total of five (5) new presumptive positive cases of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in Dallas County. These cases are in addition to the three (3) that were already reported.

One of the presumptive positive Coronavirus patients has no domestic or international travel history, indicating he or she contracted the virus from community spread.

“I have filed this evening a declaration of local disaster for public health emergency, and I’m issuing a community gathering order effective 11AM tomorrow, March 13th, prohibiting community gatherings of more than 500 people,” said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Officials say two of the patients are hospitalized and three are isolated at home. They have been identified as a woman in her 70’s, a man in 40’s, a man in 50’s, a man in his 60’s, and a woman in 60’s. One of them lives in Balch Springs, and the others live in the city of Dallas.

As of 11AM Friday, and continuing until 11AM on March 20th (unless extended), public or private community gatherings with 500+ attendees in a single open space are prohibited in Dallas County.

The declaration order does not include places such as schools, movie theaters, or office towers, since there are multiple “separate enclosed spaces” within the building.

Officials recommend these important safety measures:

Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Avoid touching your face
Stay home when sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Follow CDC recommendations for using a facemask
Wash your hands often using soap for at least 20 seconds
Consult with CDC’s travel website for any travel advisories

Official releases from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins posted below: