Farmers Branch COVID-19 News
Update April 19, 2020 Dallas County Amended Order on Long Term Care Facilities | Redlined version
Updates April 17, 2020 Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders 15 (Hospital Capacity), 16 (First Step to Open Texas) and 17 (Establishing Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas)
Update April 3, 2020 Dallas County Amended Local Disaster Declaration
UPDATE | Thursday, April 30, 2020
Governor Abbott to end stay-at-home order
FBTX ~ In his announcement on Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he would allow Texas’ stay-at-home order to expire at midnight Thursday night.
Designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the stay-at-home order also limited retail opening to essential businesses and streamlined restaurant service. Beginning Friday, certain establishments can reopen at 25 percent of their capacity. Those include libraries, malls, movie theaters, museums, restaurants and retail stores.
Still closed but to be evaluated for reopening later in May are barbershops, bowling alleys, gyms, massage parlors, salons and video arcades. Find out more about the Governor’s plan.
UPDATE | Monday, April 20, 2020
City continuing to monitor COVID-19 situation at local hotel
FBTX ~ The City of Farmers Branch continues to monitor a positive COVID-19 situation among a number of individuals that checked into the Wyndham Garden Dallas North at 2645 LBJ Freeway in Farmers Branch Friday, April 17.
According to reports, about 179 individuals from the Dallas Life homeless shelter checked into the hotel in order to shelter-in-place after Dallas County shut down the shelter due to outbreak of the coronavirus. It was later discovered that at least 17 of these individuals, and possibly as many as 38, had tested positive for the virus. Farmers Branch City officials were not made aware of this situation until after the 179 had been checked in to the hotel.
In a tightly controlled situation, these individuals are all under a control order from Dallas County Health & Human Services to remain in their rooms at the hotel for 21 days. All meals and essentials will be brought to them and exchanged in a no-contact manner. For the duration of the control order, the City of Dallas will respond to any emergency call at that hotel and will assume all costs involved with this quarantine.
Farmers Branch Mayor Robert Dye said the issue at hand was not the homeless status of these individual, but the capacity of Farmers Branch resources to manage the situation and continue to provide service to residents.
"We want to ensure we’re not overwhelming our medical system, our first responders and our community’s resources to contain the (quarantine) situation," the Mayor explained. "The entire operation is under the ownership of City of Dallas, Dallas Life and Dallas County Health and Human Services. All costs will be borne by the City of Dallas or Dallas County and at no cost to the City of Farmers Branch."
Mayor Dye added that the City of Dallas is providing a sworn law enforcement presence 24/7 along with Emergency Medical Services on site. Dallas County will provide telehealth and telemedicine to those in quarantine as well as Personal Protective Equipment and training to hotel staff.
Dallas Life is a place of renewal where people can get a fresh start. In order to continue to encourage that type of positive reinforcement, behavioral and mental health professionals are on site every day and are available overnight as needed. Dallas Life Shelter will also provide six staffers to be present 24/7.
"This alleviates any undue strain on Farmers Branch, our first responders, our medical system, our healthcare facilities and for our community," Mayor Dye said. "Rest assured we’re going to continue to manage the situation and protect the safety of our community. Consideration and care must be given to any situation to understand the underlying details and ramifications and outcomes so that we, as a community, all come out better, together, on the other side."
Farmers Branch City administration continues to closely monitor the situation.
UPDATE | Friday, March 27, 2020
Additional measures implemented on certain parks to enforce social distancing
FBTX ~ In addition to all City buildings, the Historical Park, the Barney Wood Bark Park and the Citizen Collection Center closing for the duration of the national health emergency, the City of Farmers Branch announced additional measures on Thursday, designed to enforce social distancing.
Effective immediately, the Skate Park, adjacent to the Community Recreation Center will close at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and remain closed on weekends. The inline hockey court on Tom Field Road will also be closed indefinitely.
Most other parks remain open but signage is visible advising people out for fresh air to keep their social distance from others.
For more on coronavirus and the local impact, visit farmersbranchtx.gov/coronavirus.
UPDATE | Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Dallas County shelter-in-place order now in effect
FBTX ~ By order of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, all residents of Dallas County should shelter-in-place, through at least April 3.
There are a number of other “essential” exceptions that apply:
Essential businesses that may continue to operate include hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies and other healthcare facilities. Essential critical infrastructure that may continue includes public works construction, residential and commercial construction, operation of utilities, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and telecommunications systems.
Essential retail includes grocery stores, warehouse stores, big box stores, gas stations and convenience stores, farmers markets, schools that provide free services for students on a pick-up and takeaway basis. Also included are laundromats, dry cleaners, gas stations, auto supply, hardware stores and related facilities.
Farmers Branch Mayor Robert Dye expressed his support for taking these steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
"As this has been a known possibility for some time, let’s not panic, but understand that these directives are for our own best interest,” he explained. “Essential functions, as have been available previously, will still be available in terms of grocery stores, hospitals, restaurants for take out and deliver, and pharmacies will still be open and available to the public.”
UPDATE | Saturday, March 21, 2020
Dallas County issues amended orders impacting residents and businesses
FBTX ~ Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has issued amended orders affecting residents and businesses in Dallas County and in Farmers Branch, as a result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
Effective at midnight on Saturday, March 21 the order effectively closes all barber shops, hair salons, tattoo parlors and nail salons. Elective medical, dental or surgical procedures are prohibited. There should be a six-foot separation of people in outdoor spaces. Purchase of toilet paper will be limited to 12 rolls at a time.
The amends previous orders that already mandated bars and restaurants be closed to dine-in traffic, allowing drive-thru, takeout or delivery only. Farmers Branch residents can find an updated list of those local restaurants available for these services at farmersbranchtx.gov/eatinfb.
Additionally, all City of Farmers Branch facilities are closed to in-person services until at least April 6 (subject to change/extension).
UPDATE | Thursday, March 19, 2020
All City facilities to close to in-person services
FBTX ~ In a continuing effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, all City of Farmers Branch facilities, including City Hall, Court, Citizen Collection Center and the Animal Adoption Center, will close to in-person services at 5 p.m. Friday, March 20.
For now, offices would remain staffed and the City Hall water payment drive-thru would remain open. City Manager Charles Cox said all City facilities will remain closed to public traffic until at least April 6, but added that could be extended, depending on developments in the coronavirus outbreak. Residents should call facilities / departments directly to conduct business.
This follows last week’s closure of The Branch Connection, Rec & Aquatics Centers, Historical Park and Manske Library. Those facilities are now also closed at least until April 6, subject to change.
Citizen Collection Center among closings; trash collection continues on schedule
FBTX ~ The Citizen Collection Center, at 1399 Valley View, will be among the City facilities closing until at least April 6. However, trash, brush and recycling collection continues on schedule, according to City officials. Community Waste Disposal, the City’s collection contractor, is asking all residents to be sure trash bags are completely sealed, in an effort to safeguard their employees and the public in general.
City election postponed
Balloting for Mayor & District 2 pushed to November
FBTX ~ Acting on authorization from Austin, the Farmers Branch City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to postpone the 2020 municipal election from May 2 to November 3.
Recognizing that the coronavirus pandemic could present a shortage of poll workers and keep voters away, Governor Greg Abbott issued a waiver allowing local governments to push the election.
As a result, Mayor Robert Dye and District 2 Councilmember Bronson Blackson will continue their first terms until November. In the 2020 contest, Mayor Dye is seeking re-election against challenger Brenda Brodrick while the candidates for District 2 are Michael Driskill and Nic Rady. Mr. Blackson is not seeking a second term.
UPDATE | Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Farmers Branch mirrors County orders and closes restaurants and bars for dine-in service
FBTX | March 17, 2020 ~ In further response to the coronavirus outbreak and mirroring the Dallas County orders that went into effect last night at midnight, the City of Farmers Branch is ordering the closure of all restaurants and bars for dine-in service, effective immediately, until further notice. Take-out, delivery and drive-thru are still allowed.
Mayor Robert Dye signed the amendment to the Disaster Declaration of Public Health Emergency, originally issued Friday.
Additionally, public or private community gatherings of 50 or more are prohibited for the duration of the disaster declaration. Gatherings are defined as any indoor or outdoor event that brings together or is likely to bring together 50 or more persons in a single room, or other confined or enclosed space such as an auditorium, theatre, stadium, arena or event center, gym, meeting hall, conference center, large cafeteria or any other similar space.
This action follows Friday’s closings of City facilities, including the Community Recreation Center, Aquatics Center, Historical Park, Manske Library and The Branch Connection senior activity center. All City events, meetings and activities are canceled, with the lone exception of the previously posted City Council meetings scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. and a special meeting planned for Thursday at noon. Farmers Branch City Manager Charles Cox said additional measures could be taken as conditions warrant.
Information on the coronavirus outbreak, including common-sense precautions and links to the latest updates are available below.
UPDATE | Monday, March 16, 2020
Dallas County reports five additional positive coronavirus cases, including one in Farmers Branch
Monday, March 16, 2020 | DALLAS COUNTY ~ Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reported five additional positive cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Dallas County on Monday, including one in Farmers Branch, bringing the county total to 19.
The five cases include one man in his 40s, one man and one woman in their 50s, one man in his 60s and one man in his 70s. All are self-isolating at residences and are not hospitalized. Dallas County officials advise four of the cases likely stem from domestic, out-of-state travel and one is likely from local community spread.
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-base 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.
Additional information is available at the following websites:
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- CDC Travel Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/travelers/index.html
- DSHS: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
- DCHHS: https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/2019-novel-coronavirus.php
UPDATE | Friday, March 13, 2020
Farmers Branch closes public gathering facilities and cancels events and activities amid coronavirus
FBTX | March 13, 2020 ~ Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to avoid introducing the coronavirus to vulnerable populations, the City of Farmers Branch is following the other Dallas County jurisdictions and has announced that the Community Recreation Center, Aquatics Center, Historical Park, Manske Library and The Branch Connection senior activity center will close at noon today for a period of at least two weeks.
This morning Farmers Branch Mayor Robert Dye signed a Disaster Declaration in response to this public health emergency.
“As of today, we have had no reports of coronavirus in Farmers Branch, either confirmed or presumptive positive, and we want to make every effort to keep it that way,” said City Manager Charles Cox. “We are continuing to monitor the situation in Dallas County and across the nation in consultation with the Farmers Branch Emergency Management Office, the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services and all applicable state and federal offices.”
In addition, all City programs, events and activities are canceled for the duration of the closure. Previously posted City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings will take place as scheduled. Mr. Cox said additional measures could be taken as conditions warrant.
Information on the coronavirus outbreak, including common sense precautions and links to the latest updates are available on the COVID-19 webpage.
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