Allred to Host Town Hall and Briefing on Coronavirus

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred announced he will host a town hall and briefing on the coronavirus outbreak and local efforts to prepare for it on Friday.

Allred will be joined by Dallas County Health and Human Services director Dr. Philip Huang and UT Southwestern Medical Center infectious disease chief Dr. Trish M. Perl. State Sen. Nathan Johnson will moderate the discussion on the latest on the coronavirus and resources for the public.

The town hall will be held at the Dallas County HHS building, located at 2377 N Stemmons Freeway, and will begin at 4 p.m. and run until 6 p.m.

Additionally, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced Wednesday that the county’s HHS lab is the first in the state to be capable of testing for coronavirus.

The laboratory serves several counties regionally.

“We’ve dramatically strengthened Dallas County’s testing capability over the last five years and this specific testing capacity will decrease our test turnaround from 72 hours to less than a day,” Jenkins said.

“While there are currently no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Dallas County, we are taking the risk of an outbreak very seriously and are preparing for any level of response that may be needed,” Huang said. “The ability for us to test for coronavirus locally here in Dallas County is essential to our preparedness efforts and ability to rapidly respond to this evolving situation.”

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at

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