Richardson Mayor Paul Voelker today declared a Local State of Disaster Due to a Public Health Emergency to help contain and mitigate the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We are taking steps to ensure we continue to responsibly approach this situation in a way that is consistent with the CDC, North Texas region and neighboring cities,” said Voelker. “The parameters of these safety precautions follow the advice of health professionals at all levels of government and I ask for everyone’s continued understanding and patience as we join the North Texas community in fighting the spread of this disease.”
The declaration includes the following extraordinary measures to be taken within the city:
- The state of disaster for public health emergency shall continue for a period of not more than seven days from the date of this declaration (March 18, 2020) unless continued or renewed by the Richardson City Council.
- Community gatherings of more than 50 people within the City of Richardson are prohibited.
- Recreational/Social gatherings of 10 persons or more anywhere within the City of Richardson are prohibited effective immediately.
- Restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services, microbreweries, micro-distilleries, or wineries may only provide take-out, delivery or drive-through services as allowed by law effective at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
- Bars, lounges, taverns, arcades and private clubs shall close effective 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
- Organizations that serve populations considered to be at higher risk to the impacts of COVID-19 are urged to cancel gatherings.
“We will continue to work with local, state and federal officials to monitor the progression of infection here and in our region and will continuously re-evaluate these measures so they can be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so,” said Voelker. “I am also working with the Richardson Chamber of Commerce to identify ways we can provide support to our local businesses that are being dramatically impacted by the threat from the spread of this disease.”
This morning the Dallas County Health Department reported 11 additional positive 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, one of the new cases was the first case to be confirmed in Richardson.
The 11 cases include:
- One individual in their teens, one female in her 20’s, one male and one female in their 30’s, one male in his 40’s, three males and two females in their 50’s, and one male in his 70’s.
- Three patients were hospitalized, including one in a critical care unit; eight are self-isolating at residences.
- Seven are residents of the city of Dallas, one is a resident of Coppell, one is a resident of Irving, one is a resident of Mesquite, and one is a resident of Richardson.
- One case is related to domestic out-of-state travel and two are related to international travel.
- Three patients are close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
- Five have no source or travel risk factor yet identified and are therefore indicative of community transmission.
- Cases without source or travel risk factor yet identified (therefore deemed likely from local community transmission) have been reported from residents of the city of Dallas and Mesquite.
Health professionals will not release further information to protect patient privacy.
“We continue to work with our local health professionals as they monitor the front lines of the people being most severely impacted by COVID-19 and how our local health facilities are being impacted,” said Voelker. “My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the community, and I urge the people of Richardson, especially those considered to be at higher risk, to continue to maintain a heightened sense of awareness to social distancing and personal hygiene as we work together to reduce our community’s risk.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to seek medical care
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and help young children to do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve, not your hands.
Visit www.cor.net/coronavirus for a copy of the Mayor’s signed declaration. Additional information is available at the following websites:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- Texas Department of State Health Services: dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
- Dallas County Health and Human Services: www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/2019-novel-coronavirus.php
- Richardson: www.cor.net/coronavirus