The Richardson City Council has approved a continuation of the Declaration of Disaster for a Local Health Emergency that was first signed by Mayor Paul Voelker Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The newly adopted declaration by the full Council expands prohibitions and includes orders for sheltering in place as well as the closing for all business operation not considered to be “essential.” The declaration is effective until April 30, 2020 or unless superseded, canceled, modified, amended or terminated by the Mayor and/or the City Council.

To read the declaration, click here.

Residential Impacts
Recent spikes in infections in the North Texas area has led Richardson to issue “shelter in place” orders as part of the newly adopted disaster declaration. The order is in place in order to compel residents to stay in their homes and limit movement to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Richardson residents must stay in their residence unless they are:
    • Leaving to perform tasks essential to their health and safety or the health and safety of family members (for example obtaining medical supplies or going to the doctor),
    • Leaving to obtain necessary services or supplies for their household or to deliver them to someone else (for example picking up food, pet supplies or other household consumer products),
    • Engaging in an outdoor activity, during which time social distancing including remaining at least 6 feet from other people must be practiced (for example walking, biking or running),
    • Working at an essential business,
    • Caring for a family or pet in another household,
  • All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household are prohibited.
  • If someone in a household tests positive for coronavirus, the household is ordered to isolate at home in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Religious and worship services may only be provided by video and teleconference.
  • A limit on the purchase of toilet paper has been established. Residents may purchase only 12 rolls, or one package, whichever is greater, at a time.
  • All elective medical, surgical and dental procedures are prohibited.

Business/Industry Impacts
The newly adopted order includes orders for all “non-essential” businesses to close until April 30, unless superseded, canceled, modified, amended or terminated by the Mayor and/or the City Council, or pursuant to applicable law.Essential businesses are defined as:

  • Retail food (for example grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations),
    • Restaurants may remain open but are limited to take-out, pick-up and delivery service.
  • Healthcare operations (for example hospitals, pharmacies, doctor’s offices and dentists),
  • Government functions (for example government agencies providing for the health, safety and welfare of the public),
  • Critical infrastructure (for example construction, internet and telecommunications systems, and banks),
  • Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations,
  • Services necessary to maintain essential operations or residences or businesses (for example mail and shipping services, building cleaning and maintenance, plumbers and electricians),
  • News media,
  • Childcare services.

Essential businesses that remain open must practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

Why Actions are Being Taken
Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 are focused on “flattening the curve,” or slowing the spread of the virus so that medical facilities are not overwhelmed. To do this, people are asked to practice social distancing and proper hygiene.

  • Social distancing means:
    • Maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others,
    • Avoiding congregating with other people,
    • Avoiding unnecessary physical contact.
  • Proper hygiene includes:
    • Not touching your face,
    • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue,
    • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,
    • If soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Impact on City Facilities and Services
The City has activated emergency plans to maintain staffing levels and provide essential services through thoughtful planning for several impact scenarios. The City has already implemented several operational changes to support first responders to safeguard our community from COVID-19 risks and continues to follow guidance from the CDC and other agencies as outlined in the City’s Emergency Management Plan. The plan is developed and coordinated through Richardson’s Office of Emergency Management and includes procedures for responding to the spread of airborne diseases like COVID-19.

The following is a list of impacts to municipal service:Animal Shelter (972-744-4480,

  • Open normal business hours but limiting operations that require public contact until further notice.
  • To reclaim pets, drop off stray animals or adopt a pet you must make an appointment. Appointments may be made via telephone or e-mail.
  • All volunteer and community service activity is suspended. 

Civic Center (972-744-4090,

  • All events are canceled. 

Eisemann Center (972-744-4650,

  • All events are canceled. 
  • The ticket office and Green Art Gallery remain open.

Library (972-744-4350,

  • Library is closed until further notice.
  • Items may be checked out via curbside pickup. Call 972-744-4363 to request books, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks to check out. Patrons are limited to 10 items checked out at a time.
  • Online services are still available.
  • Some youth services will be offered through Facebook live feeds. Call 972-744-4350 for details. 

Municipal Court (972-744-4500,

  • The Court remains open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, however, all dockets, hearings and trials are postponed.
  • Measures are being taken to limit the number of people coming in person and utilizing online forms whenever possible. 

Parks and Recreation (972-744-4300,

  • Heights and Huffhines Recreation Centers, Tennis Center and the Gymnastics Center are closed.
  • The Bush Central Barkway dog park and Ann Eisemann Inclusive Playground are closed indefinitely. In addition, people are discouraged from using other playgrounds or park fixtures since they cannot be sanitized in such a way to provide for their safe use. Parks and trails remain open, but social distancing is strongly encouraged.
  • All Parks and Recreation programming is suspended.
  • All league play is canceled.
  • All facility rentals are canceled.
  • New pavilion rentals will not be permitted until further notice.
  • Open areas such as parks, trails and public art remain open. 

Senior Center (972-744-7800,

  • All Senior Center programs are canceled.
  • Bus transit is limited to essential travel only. 

Special Events that have been canceled:

  • Richardson Realtors Workshop (April 2)
  • Trash Bash (April 11)
  • Richardson Neighborhood Leadership Workshop (April 21)

(All updates can be found on the City of Richardson’s COVID-19 news page at