The coronavirus pandemic has prompted changes to everyday life in order to slow the spread of the viral outbreak.
Amid all the fears, quarantines and stockpiling of food, it’s important to point out that for most people, coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe ailments may take three to six weeks to rebound.
"We must take COVID-19 seriously, and we have to work individually and as a community to protect ourselves, our families, our friends and especially our vulnerable populations."
- Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson
Cancellations and postponements are being announced daily due to the new coronavirus outbreak. In an attempt to keep you informed of the coronavirus and its effects on North Texas we’ve collected all of our reporting in one digest. You will find links to our reports throughout.
There are at least 51 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Texas, according to the Department of State Health Services.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday declared a state of disaster.
Health officials in North Texas have so far confirmed 27 cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area — 14 in Dallas County, eight cases in Collin County and four cases in Tarrant County. Denton County reported its first case on Sunday.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a Thursday news conference one of the newest cases in Dallas County was a person who did not have a history of travel, making it a case of a community-spread infection.
Dallas County on Thursday night declared a state of emergency, effectively banning all large public gatherings for seven days. Tarrant County issued the same declaration on Friday, Denton County did the same.
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
Some North Texas school districts have canceled classes out of an abundance of caution amid coronavirus concerns.
Click here to see a full list of school closures and delays, which will be updated as announcements are made.
Meanwhile, school districts are following CDC guidelines in asking students and employees who are traveling over spring break to countries hit the hardest by COVID-19 infections to self-quarantine when they return to North Texas.
Many school districts are offering services to continue to feed students while they are on the extended break.
Spring Breaks Extended
Several North Texas school districts and universities have elected to extend spring break vacations or transitioned to classes online-only in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Click here to see an updated list.
Southern Methodist University will move students from classrooms to online instruction for the first two weeks after spring break, beginning March 23. The university is asking students to leave residence halls during spring break and remain home until April 5, normal operations are expected to resume April 6.
Texas Christian University has extended spring break through March 20, classes will be held online starting March 23 through April 4.
The University of North Texas has canceled in-person classes March 16-22. Starting on March 23 all instruction will be online, students will get information by March 19.
The University of Texas at Arlington is extending spring break to March 15-22 so that the university can prepare the campus for resuming classes. All current online courses will be conducted as scheduled during the week of March 15 and faculty and staff will resume normal operations March 16. The university will conduct classes online starting March 23 until further notice.
UT Dallas is extending spring break by one week, classes scheduled for March 23-27 are canceled. Faculty and staff will use the next two weeks to plan for online classes. Classes will resume online via the eLearning platform on March 30.
Paul Quinn College in Dallas announced it will move to online-only classes for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester in an effort to stop the possible spread of the new coronavirus.
Effective immediately, Texas A&M Commerce is suspending all face-to-face classes and transitioning to online instruction until further notice at all locations including the RELLIS campus.
Texas A&M Texarkana announced Thursday that all classes would be moved online beginning Monday, March 23. All athletic and university events have been suspended.
Dallas Baptist University has extended spring break by one week, classes will resume online on March 23.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is extending spring break through March 20. Starting March 23 and through the remainder of the spring semester courses will be delivered online.
UT Austin extended spring break by one week due to concerns over the coronavirus. Classes are expected to resume on campus on Monday, March 30.
Texas A&M extended spring break by one week with classes resuming online-only between March 23-April 28. The campus will remain open to faculty, staff and students.
Collin College will extend spring break for students by one additional week to include March 16-22. All student activities are canceled during this time. The college has the ability to move to online instruction after the extended spring break if it is deemed necessary. As monitoring continues, the college will inform students via email and/or the CougarAlert system of changes and any other important decisions.
North Central Texas College announced that Spring Break for students will be extended through March 29, 2020. The spring semester will resume on Monday, March 30; however, classes will be provided strictly in an online format for a one-week period from March 30 through April 4, 2020.
In light of Dallas County announcing community spread of the novel coronavirus, North Texas churches are re-evaluating services in a new COVID-19 pandemic world.
Many are canceling services and planning to live stream via their websites or social media.
Because of the large number of churches in the 30+ counties NBCDFW covers, the faithful should check their church website to find out worship service plans for Sunday and beyond.
The latest COVID-19 news from around North Texas
Sporting Events Affected
Major League Baseball canceled the rest of its spring training game schedule due to the coronavirus on Thursday and delayed the start of the season by at least two weeks. Click here to read more about MLB developments.
The NBA has suspended its season "until further notice" after a Utah Jazz player tested positive Wednesday for the coronavirus, a move that came only hours after the majority of the league's owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.
The NHL is following the NBA's lead and suspending its season amid the coronavirus outbreak. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league is "pausing" its season. The NHL has not said any player has tested positive for the virus. The NHL is halting play with 189 games left in the regular season and sparking uncertainty about how many more if any could go on before the playoffs.
The Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners are looking for a venue for their season-opening series after Washington's governor announced a ban Wednesday on all large gatherings in the counties hit hard by the new coronavirus.
Major League Soccer officials have suspended all games, effective immediately, for 30 days, the league announced Thursday as it continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 (the coronavirus).
The biggest conferences in college sports all canceled their basketball tournaments because of the new coronavirus, putting the celebrated NCAA Tournament in doubt. The Power 5 conferences are the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference. Within minutes of each other, they announced that the remainder of their tournaments would not be played. All were preparing to play games in large arenas, but with few people in the buildings.
The Dallas Stars announced all schedule events at Comerica Center in Frisco will be suspended indefinitely. This affects the Frisco Fighters Indoor Football game, Texas Legends NBA G League games, The Illusionists and ACHA National Championships.
Late Thursday the fledgling football league the XFL canceled the remainder of its season, which had five weeks left.
Events Canceled or Postponed
Several events have been canceled, most to prevent community spread of coronavirus.
Gatherings of 500 or more people will be prohibited in Dallas County as part of a disaster declaration. It went into place at 11 a.m. Friday and will remain in effect for seven days.
The annual "St. Paddy's Pickle Parade and Palooza" in Mansfield has been canceled. It was scheduled to run March 13-14. " The Pickle Queens and Pickled Mansfield Society care deeply about our community," a news release read. "We regret that our party will not take place this year, and look forward to seeing all of our friends and supporters in March 2021."
The Saturday, March 14 concert featuring Chris Stapleton and Willie Nelson at Globe Life Field in Arlington has been postponed in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Billy Bob's Texas has canceled all dancing activities and bull riding events through the month of March. The Colter Wall concert has been rescheduled for Nov. 19. Go here to read more about rescheduled shows.
The City of Garland is closing various facilities due to coronavirus, including recreation centers and libraries.
The City of Lewisville has also closed various facilities, including the Senior Activity Center and city parks.
The Dallas Museum of Art is closed until further notice, as of March 13.
Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington has suspended operations until the end of March.
The Dallas Zoo will be closed through at least March 20.
The Deep Ellum Arts Festival, which was scheduled for April 3-5, has been rescheduled for September. Organizers said they filed an event permit for Sept. 11-13 and released the following statement about the postponement.
"Our hearts and thoughts go out to all the people who have been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to contain this coronavirus.
"We hope to see you at our September event as we enjoy the beautiful neighborhood of Deep Ellum at the rescheduled 26th annual event, featuring over 200 fine artists, 100 musicians, and more. Please take precautions to stay healthy and safe. We encourage everyone to refer to CDC recommendations about best practices and will continue to watch the situation closely in the coming months."
Klyde Warren Park has suspended all scheduled programs and game cart operations until further notice. The park will remain open during regular hours, but anyone with signs of illness is asked to stay away.
The 12th edition of the Dallas Art Fair that was planned for April 16 has been rescheduled to Oct. 1-4. “While the decision was not made easily, the health and wellbeing of the Dallas Art Fair’s gallerists, visitors, and staff are its top priority and the fair must make every effort to contain the spread of the virus,” said Dallas Art Fair Director Kelly Cornell. All tickets will be valid for the new dates in October.
The Eagles have postponed their March 17 concert at the American Airlines Center. A new concert date has not been announced.
Dan + Shay postponed it's March 21 concert at the AAC, it has been rescheduled for July 31. Previously purchased tickets will be honored.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is postponing the Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo that was planned for March 27-29. The event will be rescheduled and held in Fort Worth this fall.
The Nasher Sculpture Center has decided to postpone the 2020 Nasher Prize celebrations and programs scheduled for April 2-4 until the weekend of Nov. 4-6.
Michael Bublé's April 4 concert at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth will be rescheduled. “Hold on to your tickets and they will be honored for the rescheduled dates that we will be revealing very soon,” said Don Fox, the tour’s national promoter.
Kenny Chesney's April 18 concert at AT&T Stadium will be rescheduled. “This is all uncharted,” said a news release quoting Chesney. A new date has not yet been determined. “I’m like everyone else: watching the news, wondering when we may know something concrete, not sure how this gets transmitted, worried someone I know will catch it. I want to believe this will all be okay in the end; but right now, I don’t feel like this risk to No Shoes Nation is worth it."
Other Efforts to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Cook Children's Medical Center is changing its visiting policy to allow a maximum of two primary caregivers per patient, beginning Monday, March 16. Siblings and other visitors will not be allowed.
Parkland Memorial Hospital is limiting the number of visitors who can visit patients to one. "While Parkland staff understands the importance of visitors and loved ones, we want to take all precautions for everyone who enters our doors," a hospital news release read. Parkland is also suspending participation in community events, health fairs and public speaking engagements.
The Dallas County Sheriff's Office is suspending all in-person jail visitations until further notice. The DSO will offer video visitation free of charge, and legal counsel in-person visits are still allowed. People will also not be allowed to turn themselves in via the Dallas County Jail lobby.
The Salvation Army of North Texas is designating areas of its shelter for isolation and quarantine, screening all clients and volunteers, checking for symptoms and other measures.
Dallas County is canceling all civil jury trials for the George Allen Civil Courthouse and Justice of the Peace Courts through April 13. The cancellation does not apply to the Frank Crowley Criminal Courthouse. Anyone with questions is urged to call 214-653-6233.
Galleria Dallas says it has added 12 janitorial associates to do nothing but wipe down handrails, door pulls, elevator buttons, seating, escalators, and other customer touchpoints.
Ridgmar Mall has canceled all Easter Bunny photo sessions starting close of business on March 12.
Dallas Museum of Art will close to the public after 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 13. Beginning Saturday, March 14, the DMA will remain closed to the public until further notice.
The Nasher Sculpture Museum: The museum is closed until further notice.
The Crow Museum of Asian Art: Beginning March 14, the museum will close until further notice.
Dallas Holocaust Museum will temporarily close starting Saturday, March 14 through Sunday, March 22, 2020 and will postpone all events and programs through Thursday, April 30, 2020.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History will be closed from March 14 - March 30, 2020.
The Kimbell Art Museum has temporarily closed, effective March 13, to support decisions by the Tarrant County Health Department and Fort Worth ISD to contain the spread of the coronavirus. We will continue to assess the feasibility of future events and provide updates on our website. We look forward to announcing when we'll be able to welcome visitors back to the museum.
SITE131: The museum is closed until further notices. The opening of "Fresh Faces from The Rachofsky Collection" is postponed until September 2020 to coordinate with the Dallas Art Fair.
TACA: TACA's Let's TACAbout It! event with Avant Chamber Ballet on March 26 and the Amplifier Workshop scheduled for April 1 is postponed.
Arts Mission Oak Cliff: The arts center is open on an appointment only basis.
Turtle Creek Chorale: The chorus' "Unbreakable" concerts, scheduled for March 27-29 at the Moody Performance Hall, is postponed.
Dallas Children's Theater: The theater postponed "Last Stop on Market Street," originally scheduled to run March 21-April 5.
The Dallas Opera: The opera company will postpone "Don Carlo," originally scheduled to open March 20.
The Eisemann Center: The venue has cancelled all events through April 30.
Southern Methodist University's Meadows School for the Arts: The university has cancelled all events through the end of April.
Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth: The theater has delayed the opening of "How I Got Over" back to April 2.
Bass Performance Hall is also open but will stop offering coat check services or valet parking services starting March 13. All patrons who pre-paid for valet will have dedicated self-parking spots or can get a refund.
AT&T Performing Arts Center is canceling all programs and rehearsals scheduled at the Center’s venues in the Winspear Opera House, Wyly Theatre and Strauss Square through at least March 19.
Billy Bob's Texas in Fort Worth will cancel all concerts and events and will be closed Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15 for a deep cleaning. Plans call for Billy Bob's to reopen to the public on Monday, March 16.
The Fort Worth Zoo will close to the public from March 14 through March 23, at which time we will re-evaluate. This cancellation includes Zoo preschool and all other education programs, corporate and private events and any other gathering at the Zoo.
Fun Town RV moves weekend RV party from AT&T Stadium to its Cleburne Superstore.
FAN EXPO Dallas will be postponing the annual pop culture event scheduled from March 27-29, 2020 until June 19-21, 2020 at the Kay Baily Hutchinson Convention Center,
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport crews have been cleaning more often and using stronger chemicals. They will focus on high touch areas like handrails, doors, and touch screens.
American Airlines said its cleaning practices always met or exceeded all CDC guidelines, but it is also enhancing cleaning procedures on international flights and aircraft that remain overnight at an airport.
Southwest has not canceled or suspended any flights or routes due to the current situation, and none of the 103 destinations that Southwest serves are currently listed as geographic risks by the CDC. As of March 4, the airline enhanced cleaning procedures.
Southwest Airlines says it never charges customers a fee to change or cancel their flight. “If a customer’s plans change, or they decide they no longer want to travel, the funds used to pay for their flight can be applied to future travel – as long as they cancel their flight at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure,” Southwest said on its website.
SAT test scheduled for March 14 at Fort Worth Country Day has been canceled.