March 23, 2020
Criteria changed for Dallas COVID-19 testing sites
The criteria for the two testing sites in Dallas has been updated, to lift the age restriction, allowing more North Texans to be tested. This change went into effect at 12 p.m. on March 23.
The criteria for testing sites is as follows:
- Shortness of breath
- Must show a temperature of 99.6 or higher
Previously, the criteria included an age restriction of 65 years of age or older.
- American Airlines Center, Parking Lot E
2500 Victory Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201
- Ellis Davis Field House
9191 S Polk St, Dallas, TX 75232
On March 22, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins ordered all individuals living within Dallas County to shelter in their place of residence. This order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 23.
What does this mean for me?
Residents of Dallas County are to remain at their place of residence, unless they are engaging in an essential activity, providing or performing essential governmental functions, or operating essential businesses.
What is considered an "essential activity?"
Essential activities include:
- Tasks essential to your health and safety, such as visiting a healthcare provider or pharmacy to obtain medications or medical supplies.
- Obtaining necessary services or supplies for oneself and their family, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as visiting a grocery store.
- To care for a family member or pet in another household.
- Engaging in outdoor activity while complying with social distancing requirements of six feet, such as walking, biking, hiking, or running.
- To perform work providing essential products and services at an essential business.
"Does my job qualify as an essential business?"
Essential businesses include:
- Essential healthcare operations
- Essential government functions
- Essential critical infrastructure
- Essential retail
- Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations
- Essential services necessary to maintain essential operations of residences or other essential businesses
- News media
- Childcare services
Additionally, laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers are exempt and can remain open. Also, lawn mowing services, pool cleaning, and housekeeping are allowed under the order as well.
See page 3 and 4 of Judge Jenkins' order for an in-depth description of the above-listed essential businesses.
Dallas County has issued this order with the intent to keep hospitals from exceeding their capacity of COVID-19 patients and to "minimize the catastrophic outcomes" seen in other countries. Jenkins said. “This order is our best chance to flatten the curve here in Dallas County and save as many lives as possible.”
North Texas Behavioral Health Authority providing COVID-19 support line
During times of a public crisis, it is normal to feel stress, anxiety, grief, or worry. To work through this specific crisis, the North Texas Behavioral Health Authority (NTBHA) has developed a dedicated COVID-19 mental health support line to those experiencing stress and anxiety.
The COVID-19 support service will operate as an adjunct to the traditional crisis service and allow for direct transfers between lines to address the need for a crisis level care.
NTBHA COVID-19 mental health support line: (833) 251-7544
Traditional 24/7 NTBHA crisis line: (866) 260-8000
The NTBHA serves Dallas, Ellis, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, and Rockwall counties.