Dallas County Extends Public Health Emergency Declaration

Alan Scaia
April 03, 2020 - 12:26 pm

DALLAS (KRLD) - The Dallas County Commissioners Court has voted to extend the county's Declaration of Disaster through May 20th. That declaration gives County Judge Clay Jenkins the authority to extend his "Safer at Home" order, which requires people to remain at home unless they're out for grocery shopping, medical care or other necessary tasks. The new "Safer at Home" order runs through April 30th - but could be extended at that time.

"We are beginning to see some positive effects of that safer at home order," says Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. "It takes about two weeks to see anything from that because the people who got sick yesterday were exposed two weeks before that."

The order is similar to the restrictions announced by Governor Greg Abbott, but the extension makes Dallas County the first to keep restrictions in place into May.

Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 100 new cases of COVID-19 both Wednesday and Thursday. Jenkins says even though the county has the second-most cases in Texas, he is encouraged that the number of new cases stayed the same for two days.

"Flattening the curve doesn't mean it won't go up, it means it won't go up as steeply," Jenkins says. "If it doesn't go up as steeply, we don't get to a point where the need for hospital beds and ventilators outstrips our ability to get them."

Friday morning, the City of Dallas reported 2,365 beds were occupied at 15 hospital groups in the city. Those 15 hospitals have 4,763 beds available.

413 of 717 ICU beds were occupied.​

245 of 838 ventilators were being used.