Dallas County added 767 more cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as well as another death as hospitalizations in north Texas climb back to peak numbers reached in July.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said DFW Hospital Council statistics show the region has reached 94% of the hospital census peak reached in July and that we are “looking at the barrel of a medical model which indicates without drastic changes we will be above 2,000 cases a day on average before Thanksgiving. ”
In the letter to Governor Abbott, Jenkins said, “The rate of community spread is of concern to our local health authority and regional hospital administrators as we are rapidly approaching a workload that will be unbearable for our facilities and personally catastrophic for our families. ”
Jenkins adds, “In the attached letter you will find their immediate demands on me to try to ease this very dangerous and serious curve. These requests, however, are beyond my jurisdiction given the restrictions placed on counties in several of your orders in council, including GA-32. In the interest of our community and our collective constituents, please consider implementing the recommendations of our local health experts or confirming that local county judges have the legal authority to take such action. ”
In the letter Jenkins attached to Governor Abbott, the Dallas County Public Health Committee made its immediate request for the governor.
- Implement a stronger and more expansive public mask order for Dallas County.
- Maintain current bar closures and close all places that functionally serve as bars, and close any loopholes for bar operations that may have been created by the TABC.
- Closure of all restaurants inside restaurants and similar facilities and allowing only take-out, drive-through, curbside pick-up options and only allowing outside dining where a separation of 6 feet can be kept between the parts.
- Limit ALL indoor gatherings – public and private – to less than or equal to 10 people. Removal of exemptions for sporting events, entertainment and other similar large gatherings such as weddings and funerals, etc.
- Limit ALL outdoor gatherings – both public and private to less than or equal to 10 people where masking and a physical distance of at least 6 feet cannot be enforced. Removal of exemptions for sporting events, entertainment and other similar large gatherings such as weddings and funerals, etc.
- Strengthen strict infection control practices and tighten visitation restrictions in long-term care facilities and health facilities.
- Restrict all gyms and fitness centers to virtual classes only.
- Restrict all retail businesses (grocery stores, hair salons, box stores, movie theaters, etc.) to 25% of customer capacity.
- Reduce the capacity of non-essential businesses to 50% and encourage virtual / drive-through work strategies and other modalities to limit gatherings of people.
- Allow public schools to work with TEA to use virtual learning after Thanksgiving if the current prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the community persists to protect the health of children, teachers, staff and families from all these groups.
So far, there has been no response from Governor Abbott.
* The locations on the map are approximate and central locations of the city and are not intended to indicate where people actually infected live.
** County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant.