Dallas Officials Order Closure of Bars, Theaters, Gyms

  • The new regulations also restrict gatherings to no more than 50 people and prohibit dine-in services for restaurants

The city of Dallas March 16 ordered the closure of bars, lounges, taverns, gyms, theaters, and commercial amusement facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dallas County announced similar restrictions during a press conference shortly thereafter. This story will be updated with more details when we receive them.

“We have to turn from selfishness to sacrifice,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

The regulations issued by Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and City Manager T.C. Broadnax also restrict gatherings to no more than 50 people, and prohibit dine-in services for restaurants.

City officials say the regulations are effective at 11:59 p.m. March 16 and continue until they are either rescinded or expire.

The regulations were created in accordance with Johnson’s disaster declaration, which went into effect last week.

The city council will meet at 9 a.m. March 18 to be briefed on the efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and will vote on whether to extend the disaster declaration.

The announcements came the same day Dallas County announced five new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 19 presumptive positive cases reported.

Jenkins also said the county can test 5,000 people a week when facilities at Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie and the American Airlines Center open and they’re getting the testing kits from the federal government.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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