The latest in Coppell, Las Colinas and Valley Ranch: Dallas County judge issues stay-at-home order

Drive-thru testing for the novel coronavirus will begin in Dallas County on Saturday, March 21, for people who meet certain criteria. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Drive-thru testing for the novel coronavirus will begin in Dallas County on Saturday, March 21, for people who meet certain criteria. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Drive-thru testing for the novel coronavirus will begin in Dallas County on Saturday, March 21, for people who meet certain criteria. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

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Here is what local governments are doing about the new coronavirus. (Rendering courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Editor's note: This story is constantly being updated as more information about the local effects of the new coronavirus emerges.

A new blog-style page for coronavirus updates in Coppell, Valley Ranch and Las Colinas can be found at this link.

Updated at 7 p.m. March 22:


Dallas County residents are ordered to shelter in their place of residence from 11:59 p.m. March 23 through April 3 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"This order is our best chance to flatten the curve here in Dallas County and save as many lives as possible," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said during a news conference March 22. "I know there will be economic hardship and business closures with this order, and it makes me sick that we are at this point."


Flattening the curve refers to minimizing the infection rate of the virus through similar shelter-in-place orders to avoid the inundation of hospitals, Jenkins said.

The order generally bars all public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside of one's residence. Exceptions include essential business operations and government work. The order also stresses people to continue to maintain a minimum 6-foot distance from others.

The full story can be found here.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. March 22

Dallas County is reporting 36 additional cases of coronavirus since Saturday's count. This brings the countywide total to 131, according to a March 22 press release.

A second death has also been confirmed, the press release stated. The patient was a male in his 80s and a resident of Dallas. He was critically ill in an area hospital at the time of his death, according to the release.

This comes just two days after the county reported the death of a Richardson man in his 60s, who was found deceased in his home March 20.

More information about confirmed cases in Dallas County can be found here.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. March 21

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced a new set of restrictions meant to slow the spread of coronavirus. The amended order, effective at midnight, also extends limitations on social and community gatherings that went into effect March 18.

Massage parlors, barber shops, hair and nail salons, tattoo and piercing shops, and spas are now among the types of businesses that must close, Jenkins said during a press conference. Additionally, all medical, dental and surgical facilities must postpone or cancel elective procedures, according to the amended order.

The county is also implementing new limitations on the sale of toilet paper, Jenkins said. Effective at midnight, shoppers may purchase no more than 12 rolls per visit; however, larger packs may be purchased in the off-chance they are available, Jenkins said.

These new restrictions are needed because "some of us have not moved from selfishness to sacrifice," Jenkins said.

"There is not a supply chain problem with the toilet paper," he said during the conference. "Shoppers are the problem."

The county is also ordering the suspension of outdoor activities that require people to be in close proximity to each other, Jenkins said. He referenced pickup basketball games as an example. Officers have been instructed to monitor outdoor areas and ticket those who are not observing social distancing, he said.

"We could be headed to toward [shelter in place] if we don't flatten curve soon," he said.

The amended order is in place until April 3, Jenkins said.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. March 20:

Drive-thru testing for the novel coronavirus will begin in Dallas County on Saturday, March 21, according to social media posts from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

People must have symptoms, must have a doctor recommendation and must be either over age 65, a DART bus driver, a first responder or a health care worker, according to Jenkins.

Saturday’s testing will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Plaza in Dallas. Sunday’s testing will start at 8 a.m. at Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 S. Polk St. in Dallas.

People do not have to be a resident of Dallas County to be tested, Jenkins said, but they must meet the criteria set out by the county.

People with questions should call 2-1-1 for more information.



Updated at 7:45 p.m. March 20:

Qualifying small businesses statewide are now eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration, according to a March 20 announcement by Gov. Greg Abbott. For more information on how to apply, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. March 20:

Dallas County officials have confirmed 19 new cases of the coronavirus, bring the total tally to 74. That count was up-to-date as of 10 a.m. March 20.

The county continues to report new confirmed cases daily and will provide more detailed summaries on Tuesday and Thursdays, according to a news release.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in the release that those who choose to go outside should remain a minimum of 6-feet away from other individuals.

Updated 1:45 p.m. March 19:

Gov. Greg Abbott on March 19 took sweeping action to contain the spread of the coronavirus across Texas, issuing an executive order that will close restaurants and schools, among other things.

Click here for more information from the Texas Tribune about the new order.

Updated 7:23 p.m. March 18:

Dallas County is reducing the number of people allowed at gatherings from the previous restrictions issued March 12, according to an updated order from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

As of midnight March 18, the county will no longer allow community gatherings of more than 50 people and social gatherings of more than 10 people. These restrictions are in place until 11 a.m. March 20.

A community gathering is defined as any indoor or outdoor event at locations including auditoriums, theaters, stadiums, arenas, event centers, meeting halls, conference centers or large cafeterias. They also include, but are not limited to, weddings, religious ceremonies and funerals.

A social gathering is defined by the county as any activity that is recreational in nature. These could include parties, backyard barbecues, social events and sporting events.

Updated 3:45 p.m. March 18:

A meal finder app will become available to parents March 20, according to an announcement from Gov. Greg Abbott.

The app, called the Texas Students MealFinder Map, will include the address of facilities serving meals in their communities as well as days and times meals will be served.

The Texas Education Agency is asking local educations agencies and schools to complete an application to be included in the map.

Updated 2 p.m. March 18:

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD is closing classes through April 3. The district said it made the decision to extend the school cancellations in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

CFBISD will provide grab-and-go meals for any student Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m through April 3. They can be picked up at Creekview, Newman Smith, Ranchview and R.L. Turner high schools.

Coppell ISD also announced it would be shuttering its campuses through April 3. The district is providing free sack lunches to all CISD students age 18 and under. The lunches can be picked up from 11 a.m.-noon at Austine, Town Center, Valley Ranch and Wilson elementary schools, according to the district.

Irving ISD, which was on spring break the week of March 15, announced it would also close classes through April 3.

Updated 11:20 a.m. March 18:

Elections are encouraged to be suspended until Nov. 3 in Texas according to a proclamation by Gov. Greg Abbott March 18.

"Right now, the state's focus is responding to COVID-19 — including social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. By delaying this election, our local election officials can assist in that effort,” Abbott said.

The governor has suspended multiple Texas codes, allowing for political subdivisions to delay their elections.

An election advisory with guidance for postponing elections has also been released by Texas Secretary of State Ruth Hughs.

Updated 10:45 a.m. March 18:

Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 11 additional positive coronavirus cases within the county.

The March 18 announcement identified the 11 new individuals as a teenager, a female in her 20s, one male and one female in their 30s, a male in his 40s, three males and two females in their 50s, and one male in his 70s.

Three of these patients are currently hospitalized, and one is in critical care, according to a county news release. With five of the identified cases having contracted the virus with no known source or travel risk factors, the county says this indicates community transmission.

These new individuals bring the Dallas County total to 35 presumptive coronavirus cases.

Updated 2:10 p.m. March 17:

New Dallas County regulations require all restaurants to only offer delivery, takeout or drive-thru services.

Additionally, all bars, lounges, taverns, arcades and private clubs must close. The county also urges individuals not to attend any nonessential gatherings of 50 people or more.

Individuals are advised to remain at least 6 feet from one another at transit facilities, airports, office spaces, residential buildings, grocery stores, shopping malls and other large-gathering facilities.

The order will remain in effect until 11 a.m. March 20. It comes as part of a March 16 announcement from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Updated March 17:

The city of Irving is shuttering some city facilities into May.

The city of Irving announced March 16 that it will close city museums and arts centers, fitness and recreation facilities and other facilities.

City Hall will remain open.

The South and Valley Ranch libraries will provide drive-thru services until further notice.

Updated 6:10 p.m. March 16:

The city of Dallas is limiting community gatherings to no more than 50 people, and it is prohibiting dine-in services at restaurants and other establishments.

The announcement came from Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson on March 16. The order also requires bars, lounges, taverns, private clubs, gyms , health studios, theaters and commercial amusement facilities to also close.

These restrictions will be in effect from 11:59 p.m. March 16 until further notice.

As of the publication of this article, 15 Dallas County residents have tested positive for coronavirus.

Updated March 16:

Irving ISD officials have made the call to shutter classes through April 3.

Though the district is on spring break from March 16-20, it posted the announcement on its website as part of a preventive social distancing measure.

The district will provide "grab-and-go" style meals for students age 18 and under. The meals can be picked up at Houston, Crockett, Bowie and Lamar Middle Schools, according to the district. They are also available at Lee and Keyes elementary schools.

More information about free lunches, learning schedules and device reservations can be found at www.irvingisd.net/learningplans.

Published March 16:

The city of Coppell is prohibiting any gatherings of 50 people or more within city limits.

Additionally, restaurants, wineries and microbreweries cannot provide dine-in services, according to a city release. Bars, lounges, taverns, arcades and private clubs must also close.

The order will last from 11:59 p.m. March 16 through 11 a.m. March 20.

“While the virus has begun to hit close to home, Coppell continues to be prepared and is taking all necessary measures to react if and when warranted,” Coppell Mayor Karen Hunt said in a statement. “Dallas County has imposed additional precautionary measures in hopes to slow the spread of the virus and protect the ability of our healthcare system to handle any influx of patients. Our goal is the continued safety of our citizens and community.”
By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


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