FBTX ~ The City of Farmers Branch continues to monitor a positive COVID-19 situation among a number of individuals that checked into the Wyndham Garden Dallas North at 2645 LBJ Freeway in Farmers Branch Friday, April 17.
According to reports, about 179 individuals from the Dallas Life homeless shelter checked into the hotel in order to shelter-in-place after Dallas County shut down the shelter due to outbreak of the coronavirus. It was later discovered that at least 17 of these individuals, and possibly as many as 38, had tested positive for the virus. Farmers Branch City officials were not made aware of this situation until after the 179 had been checked in to the hotel.
In a tightly controlled situation, these individuals are all under a control order from Dallas County Health & Human Services to remain in their rooms at the hotel for 21 days. All meals and essentials will be brought to them and exchanged in a no-contact manner. For the duration of the control order, the City of Dallas will respond to any emergency call at that hotel and will assume all costs involved with this quarantine.
Farmers Branch Mayor Robert Dye said the issue at hand was not the homeless status of these individual, but the capacity of Farmers Branch resources to manage the situation and continue to provide service to residents.
"We want to ensure we’re not overwhelming our medical system, our first responders and our community’s resources to contain the (quarantine) situation," the Mayor explained. "The entire operation is under the ownership of City of Dallas, Dallas Life and Dallas County Health and Human Services. All costs will be borne by the City of Dallas or Dallas County and at no cost to the City of Farmers Branch."
Mayor Dye added that the City of Dallas is providing a sworn law enforcement presence 24/7 along with Emergency Medical Services on site. Dallas County will provide telehealth and telemedicine to those in quarantine as well as Personal Protective Equipment and training to hotel staff.
Dallas Life is a place of renewal where people can get a fresh start. In order to continue to encourage that type of positive reinforcement, behavioral and mental health professionals are on site every day and are available overnight as needed. Dallas Life Shelter will also provide six staffers to be present 24/7.
"This alleviates any undue strain on Farmers Branch, our first responders, our medical system, our healthcare facilities and for our community," Mayor Dye said. "Rest assured we’re going to continue to manage the situation and protect the safety of our community. Consideration and care must be given to any situation to understand the underlying details and ramifications and outcomes so that we, as a community, all come out better, together, on the other side."
Farmers Branch City administration continues to closely monitor the situation.