Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency on March 12, 2020, due to a novel coronavirus now designated SARS-CoV2 which causes the disease COVID-19. On March 16, the order was amended to prohibit gatherings of more than 50 and limiting restaurants to take out, delivery or drive-though services. On March 18, the order was amended once again to prohibit social gatherings of 10 persons or more anywhere in Dallas County beginning on March 18 at 11:59 p.m and continuing through 11 a.m. on March 20. It is expected to be extended under action of the Commissioners Court.
Summary of Changes:
1. Distinguishes between “Community Gatherings” and “Recreational Gatherings”
a. Community Gatherings are limited to 50 or fewer people. Community Gatherings are events like weddings, religious services, funerals, and other gatherings that brings together or is likely to bring together 50 or more persons at the same time in a single room or other single confined or enclosed space.
b. Recreational Gatherings are limited to 10 or fewer people. Recreational Gatherings are indoor or outdoor events that are primarily social or recreational in nature that brings together or is likely to bring together 10 or more persons at the same time in a single room or other single confined or enclosed space. Examples of Recreational Gatherings are parties, backyard barbecues, social events, sporting events, and other gatherings.
2. Suspends all delivery hour restrictions for transport to or from any entity involved in the selling or distribution of food products, medicine, or medical supplies in Dallas County for the next 60 days.
3. Advises the Dallas County Justices of the Peace to suspend eviction hearings and writs of possession for at least the next 60 days to prevent renters from being displaced and to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.
4. Closes Dallas County Tax Offices and passport offices for in-person services.
5. Clarifies that all gyms in Dallas County are to close.
6. Makes minor changes, such as adds farmers markets to the definition of food suppliers.
Please read the full order below for additional details.