Dallas Addresses Worship Services Conflict in Abbott, Jenkins Emergency Orders

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NBC 5 News

Wednesday's briefing by the Dallas City Council was delayed to accommodate the posting of an emergency item.

The emergency addition to the agenda is related to a conflict created by Gov. Greg Abbott's Executive Order filed on Tuesday that allows people to continue to congregate in churches so long as they follow guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and President Donald Trump.

"If religious services cannot be conducted from home or through remote services, they should be conducted consistent with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, and by implementing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Abbott wrote in his Executive Order.

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The conflict now exists between the governor's Executive Order and the Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins' Third Amended Emergency Regulations, filed March 24, which said the following with regard to worship services:

"Religious and worship services may only be provided by video and teleconference. Religious institutions must limit in-person staff to ten (10) people or less when preparing for or conducting video or teleconference services, and all individuals must follow the Social Distancing Guidelines including the six feet social distancing.

At 1:30 p.m., the meeting was taken into a closed session and is expected to resume at about 2:30 p.m.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.

How to Avoid COVID-19 Infection:

The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • 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.

*Information shared from the Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

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