Mayor Johnson calls for regional approach to COVID-19

Texas

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Mayor Eric Johnson on Tuesday issued a new set of emergency regulations to allow Dallas County’s stay-at-home provisions to be enforced in parts of the city that do not fall within the county’s jurisdiction.

At the request of City Manager T.C. Broadnax, the mayor’s emergency regulations also suspend City Council committee meetings — other than the two new ad hoc committees devoted to COVID-19 assistance and recovery — through at least April 29.

The emergency regulations were issued pursuant to the mayor’s March 12 local disaster declaration, which will expire April 29 unless renewed or rescinded prior to then. The mayor’s regulations have also included a requirement for all public, private and commercial labs to report to the City the number of COVID-19 tests conducted in Dallas.

In conjunction with Tuesday’s new regulations, Mayor Johnson issued the following statement, which is available on video here and on YouTube here.

“Today, I am issuing a revised set of emergency regulations to align the City of Dallas’ emergency restrictions with Dallas County’s most recent stay-at-home orders and, at the request of our city manager, cancel all Dallas City Council committee meetings over the next few weeks except those related to COVID-19 response and recovery.

“Because the City of Dallas sits in five counties — Collin, Dallas, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall — this step is necessary to ensure that our enforcement efforts across the city are uniform and to clarify any confusion among Dallas residents about the many emergency orders they may have been hearing about.

“Going forward, absent statewide emergency regulations, I hope that our county judges and mayors will adopt a regional approach for dealing with this pandemic. 

“To avoid issuing new and revised emergency regulations on a daily basis, I strongly encourage our local county judges to work with their stakeholders, such as the business owners and the cities within their jurisdictions who will bear the brunt of enforcing these constantly evolving regulations. 

“I believe that we can achieve much broader consensus on emergency orders that will allow the nearly 8 million people who live in our region to operate under clearer and more consistent rules, irrespective of the political boundaries that separate us.

“We will beat COVID-19 with swift and aggressive action, but we all must do our part. Our North Texas political leaders, over the course of decades, have built a robust regional economy and healthcare infrastructure, and now it’s time for us to act as a region to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.

“I remain confident that the City of Dallas, our region, and our state will get through these difficult times and I have no doubt that we will bounce back stronger than ever. I appreciate your time, your understanding, and your patience, and I wish you all good health in the days ahead.”

The new City of Dallas emergency regulations can be found here. A summary of the county’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe‘ order, produced by the Dallas City Attorney’s office, is available in English here and in Spanish here. The Dallas County FAQ is here.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the City’s web page, DallasCityHall.com/coronavirus.

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