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Gatherings of 250+ prohibited or strongly discouraged across North Texas

Local disaster declarations have been issued for many counties and cities across the North Texas area. These declarations have been ordered in an effort to hinder the spread of the Coronavirus within the region.

Many counties, including Dallas and Tarrant, along with major cities, such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Denton, Cleburne, Carrollton and others, have signed local disaster declarations. Governor Greg Abbott has also signed a statewide disaster declaration.

These disaster declarations prohibit or strongly discourage public or private gatherings of 250 people or more in one single open space for the next week. Additionally, they strongly recommend organizers of events of any size in which people will be in close contact to cancel or postpone such events, if possible.

“Employers should take steps to make it more feasible for their employees to work in ways that minimize close contact with large numbers of people,” states the Tarrant County declaration, such as encouraging telework when possible, urge employees to stay home if sick, and clean / disinfect surfaces in the workplace.

A number of large gatherings in the area, such as NBA / NHL / MLB games, concerts, church services, and conferences have been canceled or postponed at this time. A majority of school districts and college campuses across the area have extended their spring break until the end of March, or moved classes online to lessen the contact with others who may be sick.

Helpful links:

Tarrant County – Disaster Declaration and COVID-19 Information

Dallas County – Disaster Declaration and COVID-19 Information

Denton County – Disaster Declaration

Collin County – COVID-19 Information

Parker County – COVID-19 Information

Rockwall County – COVID-19 Information

Johnson County – COVID-19 Information

Ellis County – COVID-19 Information

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

Local state of disaster declared for Tarrant County amid statewide disaster declaration for Coronavirus

Judge Glen Whitley has declared a local state of disaster for Tarrant County as officials continue to respond to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The first presumptive positive case of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in Tarrant County was confirmed on Wednesday of this week. Officials have identified a second resident in Tarrant County with a presumptive positive test result. He or she is an overseas traveler.

According to the disaster declaration, events with over 250 attendees are to be canceled. County officials also strongly recommended any gatherings involving close contact within each other be postponed or canceled. “Anyone who is sick or has a member of family who is sick should not attend.” They also say “high risk” individuals should not attend events.

Officials also say all nonessential travel be canceled.

There are currently a total of twelve (12) cases of the Coronavirus reported in the North Texas area: two in Tarrant County, five in Dallas County, and five in Collin County. No cases are reported in Denton, Ellis, Parker, and Rockwall counties.

There are at least 23 cases reported statewide. The first was reported in the Houston area.

“A proclamation certifying that COVID-19 poses an imminent threat of disaster in the state and declaring a state of disaster for all counties in Texas,” reads a disaster declaration from Governor Abbott.

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

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:

Officials confirm first “presumptive positive” case of Coronavirus in Collin County

Officials in Collin County are reporting the first “presumptive positive” case of the COVID-19 virus, now widely known as the Coronavirus. This is expected to be the first official case in the Dallas – Fort Worth area.

“A Frisco man in his late 30’s who recently traveled to California is stable, in isolation in his home, and is being monitored by county health care staff,” says a release issued by Collin County Judge Chris Hill.

The Collin County Health Care Services says they are still testing to confirm the initial results since the patient’s symptoms have not required hospitalization.

“CCHCS is also monitoring the man’s family, setting up any needed tests, and working to identify any contacts who may have been exposed while he was infectious.”

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

Facts over fear. Please remain informed. There is no reason to panic and cause a disruption. Personally, what am I doing? I am washing my hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, and staying away from large public gatherings. I think it would be important for you to consider doing the same. But overall, there is no real reason to panic.

Five students in police custody after fight with police, school admin at Rosemont MS

The Fort Worth Police Department responded to a large fight at Rosemont Middle School, 1501 W. Seminary Drive, this morning at 9:15AM.

Dispatched information indicated multiple students were fighting with a security guard and school administrators.

“A police officer attempted to intervene and a scuffle ensued. Additional staff assisted the police officer and a campus security guard.”

The fight was broken up. Five students are in police custody.

The school is now back to normal status.

Woman fatally injured after crash involving drunk driver on Dallas expressway

The Dallas Police Department says a woman was fatally injured this morning after her vehicle was struck by a drunk driver.

Police say a 57-year-old woman was traveling northbound on North Central Expressway when she noticed a previously wrecked vehicle along the exit ramp to Coit Road. As she slowed, a 28-year-old driver failed to control his speed and rear-ended the woman’s vehicle.

The rear-end collision caused her vehicle to veer onto the main lanes of the Central Expressway. Both the female driver and the drunk driver exited their vehicles to exchange information.

It was at this time that a northbound vehicle unrelated to the rear-end collision struck the woman’s vehicle. She was fatally injured while standing directly outside of the driver’s side door.

The 57-year-old woman died at the scene. The drunk driver remained at the scene and was subsequently arrested for DWI. The third driver was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Driver killed after racing vehicle hits his car in Pleasant Grove

The Dallas Fire Rescue and Police Department responded to a major accident involving a vehicle on fire early this morning in the 500 block of S. Masters Drive in the Pleasant Grove area.

According to officials, two vehicles were racing each other at high speeds along southbound Masters Drive. A vehicle was eastbound on Cushing Drive at the stop sign attempting to cross Masters Drive. As the vehicle entered the roadway, one of the racing vehicles struck the crossing vehicle. The driver of the crossing vehicle was ejected from the car before it caught fire. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The driver of the racing vehicle was transported from the scene with serious injuries. He has been identified as a 23-year-old male.

The second racing vehicle remained at the scene. Both drivers will be charged with racing causing death.

The innocent driver who died has been identified as a 45-year-old male.

VIDEO: Dallas firefighter seriously injured after burning building collapses onto him

The Dallas Fire-Rescue has released additional information on their firefighter who suffered serious injuries this morning during a fire.

At around 1:49AM, Dallas Fire-Rescue responded to a report of a structure fire at a building in the 2600 block of Walnut Hill Lane (northwest Dallas).

As one firefighter attempted to gain access to the building using hand tools, a part of the burning building and roof collapsed onto him, knocking him down and engulfing him in the flames.

He was able to crawl away from the flames. Additional firefighters came to his aid. He was transported to Parkland Hospital with serious injuries.

“He is being admitted to Parkland Hospital for an undisclosed time, after suffering significant injuries to his back, foot as well as some minor burns to his neck; all of which are non-life-threatening.” He is in stable condition, but has a long road to recovery.

He has been with Dallas Fire-Rescue for 28 years.

Here is a video of the incident which was tweeted to DFW Scanner by one of our followers. The video may be disturbing to some viewers. Luckily, he will be OK. A close call.

Underage intoxicated driver causes crash that kills man on Loop 12 in Dallas

The Dallas Police Department responded to a major accident in the early morning hours of Thursday along Walton Walker (Loop 12).

At around 1:30AM in the morning, Dallas Fire-Rescue and Police all responded to a two-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of Loop 12 near Keeneland Parkway.

According to police, a vehicle occupied by a 26-year-old man was stopped in the right lane of the highway. A second vehicle, occupied by a 20-year-old driver, was also northbound on Loop 12 and struck the rear of the stopped vehicle.

The 26-year-old occupant of the stopped vehicle was transported to Methodist Dallas hospital with major injuries, and died a short time later.

The 20-year-old driver stayed at the crash scene and was found to be under the influence of alcohol. He was subsequently arrested for DWI.

Teenager shot and killed at Arlington apartment complex

The Arlington Police Department is investigating a shooting in the 900 block of Benge Drive just off Cooper Street near the University of Texas Arlington campus.

Arlington police responded to the scene just after 4:30PM and located a teenaged victim with an apparent gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital, but pronounced deceased.

Detectives are in the process of collecting evidence at this time.

Officials do confirm the 16-year-old victim was a student at an Arlington ISD high school.

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to contact the Arlington Police Department. “We are asking anyone with information to contact us so that we can identify and arrest the suspect, who we believe still has access to the gun that was used to commit this crime.”

Update – Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson confirms detectives have taken a male juvenile suspect into custody.

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