Here are 4 changes to Richardson's response to COVID-19 residents should know

Council members were briefed on several changes to the city's COVID-19 response at a May 4 meeting. (Courtesy Citizens Information Television)
Council members were briefed on several changes to the city's COVID-19 response at a May 4 meeting. (Courtesy Citizens Information Television)

Council members were briefed on several changes to the city's COVID-19 response at a May 4 meeting. (Courtesy Citizens Information Television)

The COVID-19 crisis is changing daily, prompting city officials to alter ordinances that govern permissible activities during the pandemic. Since council convened two weeks ago, 18 additional cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Richardson. Of the 84 residents who have contracted the virus, eight have died. Here are the latest updates on Richardson’s response to COVID-19.

Council adopts ordinance to align with statewide guidelines

The city of Richardson’s disaster control order issued March 23 expired April 30. City Council members May 4 approved a new ordinance that aligns with loosened restrictions announced by Gov. Greg Abbott last week.

Big-ticket items included in the governor’s revised orders were the reopening of restaurants, retail shops and movie theaters at 25% occupancy; the reopening of in-person religious services for congregations unable to conduct services online; and the decrease in required hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients from 20% to 15%.

Adopting these provisions at the municipal level means the city can ticket violators and impose a fine of up to $1,000, Deputy City Manager Don Magner said.


Library will partially reopen

Over the weekend staff at the city’s public library came up with a plan for how to safely reopen.

Beginning May 5, the first floor will reopen at 25% capacity to residents and business owners only. Visitors must show proof of residency and proof of occupancy.

For the time being, the library will be open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Nonresidents can still check out books curbside. That service will be offered Monday-Saturday 2:30-5:30 p.m. Curbside checkout is no longer available on Sundays.

Services are limited to first-floor book displays, media and service areas for children and teens.

Tennis center sees expanded amenities, new guidelines

The tennis center reopened May 1, but since then the city has announced expanded amenities and new social distancing guidelines.

Only four players are permitted on the court at a time. Private lessons are permitted, and ball machines are available for rent.

The pro shop reopened at 25% occupancy, which allows for about four patrons at a time. Only prepackaged items are being sold.

Racquet services are available, but they must be sanitized by the customer before being handled by staff.

City Council to hear another COVID-19 budget update

Preliminary budget estimates for Richardson’s five operating funds were presented to City Council on April 20. At the time, staff predicted an $18 million loss in revenue brought on by COVID-19.

Staff plans to brief council members on new budget estimates at the May 18 council meeting.
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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