CDC Recommends Suspending Large Events For 8 Weeks

  • The recommendation doesn’t apply to schools and businesses
  • Dallas County cancels all jury trials until May 8

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended March 15 canceling or postponing events with 50 or more people nationwide for the next eight weeks to prevent to spread of COVID-19.

The recommendation doesn’t apply to the day-to-day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses

“This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials,” a statement on the CDC’s website said.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced shortly after the CDC’s new guidance was announced that the county is canceling all jury trials for Dallas County criminal courts, civil courts, and justice of the peace courts until May 8.

The county said those summoned to appear at the Frank Crowley Criminal Courthouse, the George Allen Civil Courthouse, or a J.P. court prior to May 8 shouldn’t report or call to re-schedule their service.

The county is also asking attorneys representing people accused of crimes to check with the court managers’ office about the process for continued representation of their clients.

“We are taking the necessary steps to continue the justice system and keep you safe. I will extend these orders if necessary,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Jail pleas and bond hearings will proceed as normal for jail cases, according to officials.

In-person disposition of bond cases will continue May 11 for bond cases and appearances for bond cases will be waived until May 8…and cases should be reset by calling or sending an email to the appropriate court coordinator, the county says.

Some courts are accessible by Skype to provide a virtual option for any dispositive settings on both jail and bond cases, officials say. They advised checking with each individual court to determine whether that’s an option or not.
Jurors or summoned jurors with questions are asked to contact Dallas County Jury Services at 214-653-3595, those with questions about their summons or service at George Allen are asked to call 214-653-6233, and those with questions about specific J.P. courts are asked to call their specific court.

These announcements come after Dallas County, the city of Dallas, and the state of Texas made emergency disaster declarations to help slow and address the spread of COVID-19.

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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