The Dallas County Commissioners voted unanimously to extend the COVID-19 public health disaster declaration to Aug. 4 in a meeting Tuesday.
The disaster declaration was originally declared March 12 and includes but is not limited to:
- Requiring all laboratories to report COVID-19 testing to Dallas County
- Restricting employers from requiring a negative COVID-19 note for a COVID-19 recovered employee to return to work
- Ordering a household to self-isolate if someone in the household tests positive for COVID-19
- Requiring schools to submit a plan to Dallas County before reopening
- Prohibiting non-essential visitors from nursing, retirement or long-term facilities
- Prohibiting price gouging for specific items except "except where an increased retail price is the result of increased supplier or other costs"
Anybody who violates the disaster declaration could be subject to a fine up to $1,000.
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As Texas entered Phase 3 of Gov. Greg Abbott's reopening plan, Dallas County reported its eighth consecutive day of more than 300 COVID-19 cases.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who wrote the disaster declaration, emphasized the importance of masks.
"Please avoid crowds, maintain six-foot distancing when out, wear a cloth face covering, and use strong hygiene," Jenkins said.
"It’s up to all of us to flatten the curve. There are many other important matters in your life and in the world right now, but we must keep our health and the health of our community at the top of our minds as we address those other important matters. The best way to keep you and your family safe is 'Stay Home, Save Lives.'"
After being put into place on March 12 as a stay-at-home order, the disaster declaration has been extended multiple times.
An extension on June 5 pushed the expiration deadline for the disaster declaration to June 17. Now, Aug. 4 is the new deadline.