Week of April 20: COVID-19-related news, updates and more


Dallas County reported no new deaths this morning (Monday, April 20). The total county deaths stand at 60. There were 84 new cases reported bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,512.


County Judge Clay Jenkins said local, state and federal officials can work together to protect public health and carefully open the economy. But he said in North Texas, we’ll rely on science.

“We must be fully committed to following the science so we minimize the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 that could force us backwards,” Jenkins said in a press release. “We must listen to our constituents including those voices too often ignored but critical to this response.”

Those constituents, he said, include communities of color “who are bearing a disproportionate share of the pain of this pandemic.”

He said county judges in North Texas have been meeting weekly via telephone with healthcare experts discussing ways to safely open the economy. They’ve agreed that the first loosening of the rules will be on some elective surgeries and “retail to go.” Restaurants, bar and theaters “are not businesses we contemplate being in the first group of businesses to be opened.”

After watching the loosening of rules for two weeks, Jenkins said, they will consider allowing the next set of businesses to re-open.


Texas State Parks began re-opening for day-use only today (April 20) as part of a broader effort to begin reopening the state of Texas, according to an email from Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Per Gov. Greg Abbott’s direction, the email notes, new restrictions in effect include requiring visitors to wear face coverings and maintain a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, and prohibiting the gathering of groups larger than five.

“As we navigate through these challenging times, it is essential that outdoor experiences and opportunities are available for Texas families. We have been diligently working with our partners in local communities across the state to help safeguard our state park visitors, volunteers and staff when they return to Texas State Parks,” Smith said.“During the temporary closure, our state parks team has been cleaning and sanitizing park facilities, addressing routine maintenance projects, and ensuring requisite safety protocols are in place to ensure visitors have the best possible experience.”

Due to limited staffing, weather conditions and continuing construction projects, some state parks will not be open at the current time. Park visitors should check the Texas State Parks Alert Map regularly for the latest information about the status of individual parks. The resumption of overnight camping will be announced to the public once a date has been determined.

For the latest information, please check the TPWD website.


The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, a joint initiative of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, and some local Dallas law firms have partnered to hold virtual clinics on April 23, April 30 and May 7.

Clinics are as follows:

Thursday April 23: Virtual Clinic with DVAP and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, 11-3 p.m.
Thursday, April 30: Virtual Clinic with DVAP and Hunton Andrews Kurth, 8-8 p.m.
Thursday, May 7: Virtual Clinic with DVAP and Hunton Andrews Kurth, 8-8 p.m.

Dallas County residents who would like to apply for free legal assistance should fill out the form found online here. Once the form has been completed, expect an attorney’s call on the respective date. Participants should watch for a call from an unknown number that should be labeled “No Caller ID” or something similar.

For legal assistance any time, contact the DBA’s Lawyer Referral Service here.

For more information, log on here. For media inquiries about these clinics, contact DVAP Director Michelle Alden at aldenm@lanwt.org.


Heritage of Pride, in partnership with the City of New York, has announced that the NYC Pride 2020 roster of events, originally scheduled for June 14-28, will not take place as planned, due to the collective concern for the overall safety of the community.

Maryanne Roberto Fine, NYC Pride co-chair, said, “We understand that we need to re-imagine NYC Pride events and have already begun to do just that.”

Aside from the changes in event programming, NYC Pride will continue to focus on initiatives like Pride Gives Back. This grant program was created to support LGBTQ organizations from some of the most marginalized communities to develop needed programming. The success of WorldPride | Stonewall 50 made it possible to increase the total number of grants awarded this year. NYC Pride is honored to be able to help sustain these organizations during this time of financial uncertainty and unprecedented challenges.

As a founding member of InterPride, the board and membership of Heritage of Pride have agreed to participate in the virtual Global Pride event on Saturday, June 27. Additionally, NYC Pride will continue to evaluate the situation and work toward creative ways to celebrate pride.

For more information or if there are any questions, please contact media@nycpride.org.


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