Leaders from Dallas business, tourism and advocacy organizations met in recent days to discuss the regional response to COVID-19. The following is a joint statement from John Olajide, Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) 2020 Chair of the Board, Dale Petroskey, DRC President & CEO, Kourtny Garrett, President & CEO of Downtown Dallas, Inc., Fred Perpall, Chairman of the Dallas Citizens Council, Kelvin Walker, CEO of the Dallas Citizens Council, and Craig Davis, CEO of VisitDallas.
We are facing one of the great challenges of our time in combating COVID-19, but we can, and we will, get through this together. Right now, containment is the key. Slowing the spread of this illness is what will allow our health care providers to treat those among us who most need care.
It is imperative that the people of Dallas and the surrounding region take appropriate steps to slow the spread of this potentially deadly coronavirus, including limiting gatherings and working from home. That is why we fully support the actions taken by Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Governor Greg Abbott to limit gatherings and protect the health and welfare of the public.
We also believe it is imperative that our health care workers have access to more test kits, so that they may be able to track and treat patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19. Testing should be robust and conducted at locations separate from our hospitals and doctors’ offices. Over the next few days, we anticipate Dallas will have new drive-thru testing facilities, which will increase testing capacity and serve more residents. We strongly support these programs and are calling on Congressional leaders and state agencies to provide the necessary funding and staffing resources to Dallas County Health and Human Services, hospitals, and other public health authorities to operate these programs. We are grateful to the President and Congress approving relief packages to fight COVID-19, but additional funding is needed at the local level as this situation continues to evolve over the next eight weeks.
Finally, we understand that this will be a time of great economic hardship and we are coordinating on a plan to help workers who may be out of a job as a result of temporary COVID-19 restrictions. We will be pooling our resources and working with our member companies and organizations to connect those in need of employment with possible temporary and longer-term job opportunities.
Contact: Olivia Breedlove
Managing Director, Communications and Marketing
Dallas Regional Chamber
Contact: Sarah Jackson
Vice President, Strategy and Public Affairs
Dallas Citizens Council