(CBSDFW.COM) – Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley has issued a state of local disaster declaration as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues. He also said there are now two confirmed cases in Tarrant County.
Three days ago, the county reported its first case. Today, it confirmed its second case. Health officials said both cases are unrelated and that the second case is from someone who traveled from overseas.
The county is recommending that community gatherings of 250 or more people be canceled. It is also recommending that events of any size where people will be in close contact with each other be canceled or postponed, as well.
Judge Whitley said if it’s not possible to cancel these events, then the county says high-risk patients, such as older people or those with underlying conditions, or anyone who’s already sick or lives with someone who is sick should not attend those events.
“If gatherings less than 250 we strongly encourage that they think about canceling or if possible televise or go live stream on their website. The idea, the less number of people that come together, the better it is,” Tarrant County Public Health Director Dr. Vinny Taneja said.
It was late Thursday evening that Dallas County issued a disaster declaration as it now has eight confirmed cases, including one from community spread. The county also prohibited community gatherings of 500 or more people and strongly discouraged ones with 250 or more.
“We’ve been watching the [coronavirus] situation unfold across the world for awhile and now in the United States. And we’re starting to see rapid expansion in number of cases across the United States with multiple states starting to show local transmission chains. In the state of Texas, first local transmission was identified in the Houston area… and late last night, Dallas County announced that they had five new cases, one of them being localized transmission. So in the combined community of Dallas/Fort Worth, this is a major trigger event,” Dr. Taneja said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also issued a state of disaster Friday afternoon amid the growing concerns of coronavirus.