Dallas County Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates and Information
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2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19)

Dallas County Health and Human Services - 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207
Telephone: 214-819-2000

2019 Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19)

Dallas County Residents

Date last updated:

 Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

Deaths from COVID-19

April 5, 20201,112* 18
* Numbers are updated at 12:00 PM daily. Note: Does not include positive results from persons who reside out-of-state or outside of Dallas County.

Dallas County Health and Human Services is reporting 97 additional positive cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the total case count in Dallas County to 1,112, including 18 deaths. Of cases requiring hospitalization, about three-quarters (71%) have been either over 60 years of age or have had at least one known high-risk chronic health condition. Diabetes has been a chronic high-risk condition reported in over a quarter (28%) of all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

The numbers of intensive care unit hospitalizations from COVID-19 from this past week have exceeded the peak week of ICU hospitalizations from influenza this past 2019-2020 season in Dallas County.

For additional information on testing locations, County facility closures and details on case counts, please visit: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/.

Date Issued

Dallas County COVID-19 Summaries*

April 3, 2020Dallas County 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary
March 31, 2020Dallas County 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Influenza Summary
March 27, 2020Dallas County 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Summary

Date Issued

Orders

April 2, 2020Amended Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins (Safe at Home Order)
April 1, 2020Amended Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins Regarding Long-Term Care Facilities
March 31, 2020Amended Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins (Stay Home Stay Safe)
March 31, 2020Executive Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins (Allowing Donations)
March 29, 2020Amended Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins (Safer at Home Order)
March 29, 2020Dallas County Order of County Judge Clay Jenkins Regarding Long-Term Care Facilities
*Summary will be updated Tuesdays and Fridays


Residents are asked to help prevent spread of the virus by practicing non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing (avoiding close contact with other people, especially those who are sick), covering coughs and sneezes, and hand hygiene. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. If you are sick, stay home. 

Current travel advisories can be viewed at the U.S. Department of State and CDC. The CDC recommends that travelers defer all cruise travel worldwide.

2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS | NUEVO CORONAVIRUS 2019 | 2019 新型冠状病毒 | VI-RÚT CORONA MỚI 2019

What is the coronavirus disease or COVID-19? 

  • Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. There are several known coronaviruses that infect people and usually only cause mild respiratory disease, such as the common cold.
  • You can learn more about COVID-19 at the CDC website.
  • See how COVID-19 compares to other coronaviruses on this chart from Maricopa County, AZ.

Has anyone in the United States been infected?

How does the virus spread?

  • COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu spreads.

Can someone who has COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

  • COVID-19 spreads similar to flu; therefore, if you are in close contact to someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 for an extended period of time, you are at an increased risk of getting sick. 
  • For example, closer than 6 feet to a sick individual for more than 10 minutes. 

What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?

  • Symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Who is at risk for having severe disease related to COVID-19?

  • Most people who contract COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms; however, similar to flu, individuals who have the highest risk for severe illness are older adults and those with chronic conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes.

What is the treatment for COVID-19?

  • There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 will receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Useful Resources:

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact (i.e., within about 6 feet) with a person who is currently sick with COVID-19. The virus likely spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu and other respiratory infections spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.  

Basic, everyday habits go a long way to protecting yourself from viruses, including COVID-19: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. 

In addition, CDC and Ready.gov have additional tips for individuals, families, and households

Am I at risk for COVID-19 infection in the United States?

  • This is a rapidly-evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. 
  • Anyone can become infected with COVID-19. However, older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions — like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
  • Please visit our website as well as the CDC website for the most up-to-date national information.

Should I be tested for COVID-19?

  • If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, you should call ahead to a healthcare provider or visit a drive-thru testing location. If your symptoms are mild, you can:
    • Visit the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker to answer questions about your symptoms and receive guidance to help you make a decision on whether or not to seek medical care. 
    • Call 2-1-1 for general public inquiries about COVID-19 resources.
  • Individuals who are being monitored by public health will be given specific recommendations to seek care for testing for COVID-19, if needed.

What if I am experiencing flu-like symptoms and am worried I might have COVID-19?

  • If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should contact a healthcare provider or visit a drive-thru testing location to be screened for COVID-19 testing.
    • Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency roomcall ahead and tell them about your symptoms.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a mask BEFORE you enter the healthcare facility for medical evaluation.
  • Avoid contact with others while sick.
  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

As part of a strategy aimed to limited continued COVID-19 spread in US communities, the US government has recommended that all travelers stay home voluntarily for 14 days after traveling from countries with widespread ongoing transmission or on cruise ships or river cruises. DCHHS is contacting people who recently traveled to countries that are classified by CDC as level 3 travel health notice due to COVID-19. 

Guidance for Social Distancing

Due to your potential exposure to COVID-19 infection during travel, as much as possible

  • Stay at home until 14 days after arrival, except to get essential medical care, as much as possible. Do not go to work or school and avoid public areas (e.g., shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, etc.) and public transportation, including rideshare and taxis.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor and reschedule all non-essential medical appointments.
  • Separate yourself from others in the home and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others.
  • Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness (unless they live in the same home and had same exposure)
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid sharing household items like dishes, cups, eating utensils, and bedding.
  • Postpone long-distance travel as you may be unable to return if you become symptomatic.
  • Monitor your symptoms for 14 days after you were exposed. Watch for: fever (> 100.4°F; take your temperature twice a day), coughing, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea and/or vomiting

If you develop fever or any of the symptoms listed above AT ANY TIME:

  1. Call your healthcare provider right away or visit one of our drive-thru testing locations.
    • If your symptoms are mild, you may want to use the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker to answer questions about your symptoms and receive guidance to help you make a decision on whether or not to seek medical care. 
  2. Before going to your medical appointment, be sure to tell your healthcare provider about your travel or your close contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19 infection. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected.

Resources:

If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

Care Kit Materials for Home Monitoring

Many parents and school officials have expressed concern about school closures due to COVID-19. If there was a case of COVID-19 at a school, we would work closely with that school to issue recommendations that are made with consideration to student and staff health and safety, how to continue learning, and impact on the community. 

What Schools Can Do

  • School nurses: If a child presents symptoms of respiratory illness, they should be masked and sent home. 
  • Implement your annual seasonal influenza plan.
    • Students and staff who are ill, especially with acute respiratory symptoms (not allergies or chronic conditions), should stay home. 
    • Review sick policies for staff; ensure staff can stay home when ill. 
  • Ensure prescribed cleaning is happening at school facilities (routine disinfectants are appropriate).
    • Enhance cleaning of high touch surfaces like door knobs, toilet handles, and sink handles. 
    • Ensure that hand sanitizer, soap/paper towels and tissues are widely available in school facilities. 
    • Remind students to cover their coughs/sneezes with a tissue or their elbow. 
  • Ensure parents/guardians have a plan to designate a caregiver for a sick child(ren) if parents/guardians can’t stay home. 
  • Look for opportunities to address food insecurity for families who rely on schools for breakfast and/or lunch. 
  • Identify at-home learning opportunities during student absences or school closures. 
  • Identify how the school will communicate updates to parents/guardians. 

CDC

  • Childcare and Schools
  • Colleges and Universities

Public Health Resources

Countering Stigma and Bullying

Infographics

Planning Considerations

Businesses should review their Continuity of Operations Plan or Business Continuity Plan. 

A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) or Business Continuity Plan (BCP) outlines the job or service functions that are essential to keeping the business operational. Essential functions are often tied to public safety and health, job functions tied to laws or administrative codes and those functions that keep the business open. A healthy COOP or BCP plan will include:

  • Details of the essential functions
  • Key staff who perform the essential functions
  • List of essential records, contracts and important information needed to keep the functions running
  • Cross-trained personnel who can perform essential functions

Businesses should prepare for social distancing and absenteeism

Businesses should include ways to reduce interactions amongst employees. Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites, teleworking, flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees.

Be flexible with employees who become ill. It’s important that employees with signs of respiratory illness (fever and cough) stay home and seek medical care. Some employees with recent travel to a Level 3 Country may be placed under quarantine for 14 days.

DO NOT require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before employees return to work.  

For more guidance on COOP or BCP planning, visit ready.gov/business 

Response Considerations

Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:

  • Dallas County Health and Human Services recommends employees who have symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, NOT chronic conditions like allergies or asthma, stay home and not come to work until 72 hours after free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer) and symptoms of respiratory infection (not allergies or asthma), without the use of fever-reducing medications. This recommendation applies regardless of whether the individual has been tested for COVID-19 and is advised to reduce overall risk of transmission of flu-like symptoms before returning to work. Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Talk with companies that provide your business with contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
  • Do NOT require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Do NOT require a negative COVID-19 test for employees to return to work.
  • Public Health WILL NOT contact every business to notify them of employees who are positive for COVID-19. Notification to businesses depends on case investigation information, potential exposure and whether the employee was in a high-risk job (e.g., healthcare).
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.
  • Encourage sick staff to use telehealth if available.

Separate sick employees:

  • CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. While at work, sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).

Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees:

  • Place posters that encourage staying home when sickcough and sneeze etiquette, and hand hygiene at the entrance to your workplace and in other workplace areas where they are likely to be seen.
  • Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
  • Instruct employees to clean their hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol,or wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Provide soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs in the workplace. Ensure that adequate supplies are maintained. Place hand rubs in multiple locations or in conference rooms to encourage hand hygiene.
  • Visit the coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.

Perform routine environmental cleaning:

  • Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label.
  • Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.

Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:

  • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found at on the CDC website.
  • Advise employees to check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
  • Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
  • If outside the United States, sick employees should follow your company’s policy for obtaining medical care or contact a healthcare provider or overseas medical assistance company to assist them with finding an appropriate healthcare provider in that country. A U.S. consular officer can help locate healthcare services. However, U.S. embassies, consulates, and military facilities do not have the legal authority, capability, and resources to evacuate or give medicines, vaccines, or medical care to private U.S. citizens overseas
CDC

Please see the following CDC link for business/employer guidance and cleaning and disinfection recommendations: Resources for Businesses and Employers (CDC)

OSHA

If your organization or agency is involved in the COVID-19 response and you would like to place an order for PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), please note the following prior to placing a request:
  • Organizations experiencing a critical shortage of PPE necessary for COVID-19 response can request supplies from the SNS PPE cache.
  • The SNS cache is not intended to provide a full or recurring PPE supply. It is intended to provide organizations who are within 72 horus of exhausting their PPE supply with up to 72 hours of PPE.
  • The SNS cache is available to entities in Trauma Service Area E based on critical need; it is not distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
  • Not all organizations that request PPE from the SNS cache will have their request filled, and some requests will be filled at a lower level than requested.
To request Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), following the instructions and complete the NCTTRAC PPE Resource Request Form and ICS 213RR found in the link below:

Reporting Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases

Healthcare providers with positive (confirmed) COVID-19 test results must complete the submit the following case report form (CRF) to DCHHS at (214) 819-6095:

Testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The CDC has an FAQ on COVID-19 testing at laboratories that includes information on public health and commercial laboratory testing capacity.

Commercial Lab Testing

A list of commercial labs offering COVID-19 testing can be found at the FDA's FAQ on Diagnostic Testing for SARS-CoV-2 webpage.

Public Health Lab Testing

Dallas County LRN Laboratory has capacity to test for novel coronavirus. Healthcare providers requesting testing should review the following documents:

Health Advisories and Alerts

Provider Resources

PUI Assessment and Infection Control

Discontinuation of Precautions

EMS Resources

Testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Dallas County LRN Laboratory has capacity to test for novel coronavirus. Healthcare providers requesting testing should review the following documents:

Laboratory Guidelines

Dallas County Health and Human Services recommends individuals and families follow everyday preventative measures, otherwise known as non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI), as the frontline of defense against COVID-19 and other seasonal respiratory viruses:

  • Voluntary Home Isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus.
  • Respiratory Etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Hand Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Environmental Health Action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects

Routine use of these measures by individuals and their families will increase community resilience and readiness for responding to an outbreak.

(Source: COVID-19 Situation Summary (CDC))

Resources

COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donations

If you have recovered from novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and are interested in donating plasma, please visit the organizations below to determine your eligibility and fill out a donor request form:

Contact Information

  • Inquiries from the general public may be made to 2-1-1.
  • Physicians may call the DCHHS 24/7 answering service at 1-877-605-2660 for consultation.
  • Media inquiries may be made to lauren.trimble@dallascounty.org 

Additional Resources






Updated 3/31/20