DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — In a letter sent to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins Sunday, the Governor’s Office threatened to move additional hospital capacity away from Dallas if he doesn’t plan to utilize the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
The letter stated that if Jenkins cannot “make clear the acceptance of these facilities” by 5 o’clock Monday, the federal government may be forced to relocate the healthcare facilities to other regions.
This comes one day after Dallas County surpassed 1,000 cases of the coronavirus and reported its 18th death.
Shortly after the letter was released, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the following:
“I share the Governor’s concerns, and I was stunned and deeply disappointed to hear about Dallas County’s position on the pop-up hospital at the City’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
This hospital is an important asset that we have worked proactively, collaboratively, and tirelessly with our federal and state partners to obtain for our region. I am alarmed that these medical resources are now at risk as we begin preparing for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases. I am committed to continuing to work with our partners to open this facility as quickly as we can to help serve our community’s needs.
The City of Dallas has acted swiftly and aggressively to slow the spread of COVID-19. We cannot afford inaction now.”
However, in a news conference Sunday afternoon Judge Jenkins said the letter was “very odd,” and that he does intend to use the convention center for some patients down the line.
What led to the letter was a call from a DOD Major General to Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd expressing confusion after he said the judge and his team told them that Dallas County had no intention of using the convention center as a pop-up medical facility.
Jenkins said it’s essentially untrue and that it may have been a miscommunication with the Department of Defense, and that Mayor Johnson jumped to conclusions.
He also said he and Governor Greg Abbott have not had a one-on-one conversation since the pandemic began and told him to “pick up the phone.”
WATCH: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins Provides Update On COVID-19 Response
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Stay home when you are sick, except to seek medical care
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and help young children to do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-base hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve, not your hands.
For all Dallas County COVID-19 updates and information, click here.