This timeline will be updated as new developments emerge.
On March 9, the Dallas-Fort Worth area had its first confirmed positive case of COVID-19. In the days to follow, city and county leaders implemented various preventative measures in hopes of fighting the pandemic.
Here's a look back at the spread of the disease in the U.S. and in Texas.
The Timeline of Events:
Jan. 16: The first U.S. case of coronavirus originating from China was reported in a man in Washington state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Snohomish County man, who is in his 30s, returned to the U.S. from Wuhan, China on Jan. 15, traveling through Sea-Tac International Airport. The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan.
He was treated at the Everett Providence Regional Medical Center in Washington and made a full recovery, officials said.
Feb. 7: Travelers being quarantined in relation to the coronavirus outbreak arrived in San Antonio, touching down at Kelly Field.
Health officials said the plane carried fewer than 100 passengers, including at least two children, who would be held at Lackland Air Force Base for a two-week quarantine.
March 4: The Fort Bend County health department confirmed a "presumptive positive" case of the COVID-19. The man, who is in his 70s, had recently traveled abroad and got tested at a Houston lab.
March 9: The first case of COVID-19 is confirmed in North Texas. The patient is a Frisco father in his 30s. He traveled to California at the end of February and returned to Collin County at the beginning of March.
Officials said during the man's business trip in California, he came in contact with someone who had contracted the novel coronavirus.
The patient's wife and their 3-year-old child also test positive for COVID-19.
March 8: Sen. Ted Cruz announces that he is self-quarantining after he learned that he came in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.
In the statement, Cruz says he hasn't experienced any symptoms. He says said he held a brief conversation with the individual and they also shook hands.
March 10: Dallas County and Tarrant County health officials both confirm “presumptive positive” cases of the novel coronavirus.
March 11: The World Health Organization classifies the worldwide outbreak of the new coronavirus crisis as a pandemic.
"Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
March 12: Dallas County officials declare a local disaster in response to the COVID-19 pandemic after 13 people are infected in North Texas.
As a part of the local disaster, Dallas County bans gatherings of more than 500 people. That order went into effect at 11 a.m. Friday, March 13.
"We must act now to slow the spread," Johnson said. "We know taking precaution immediately will save lives, especially our most vulnerable residents."
March 13: President Donald Trump declares a national emergency on Friday afternoon to bolster funding for fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump says the emergency will open up nearly $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak. Additionally, the president said they would be waiving interest on federally owned student loans in an effort to ease the financial impact of the virus outbreak.
Gov. Greg Abbott declares a statewide public health disaster as the virus continues to spread. This authorizes the use of all resources needed to respond to COVID-19.
Throughout the day, city and county officials across North Texas and the country made emergency declarations as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, Bishop Edward Burns announces the Catholic Diocese of Dallas will suspend all public masses until March 30, 2020, due to public health concerns.
March 14: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweets that the county's first patient who tested positive for COVID-19, a 77-year-old man, was leaving the hospital in "great shape".
Jenkins also said the man's wife also tested positive, but she was "never sick enough to need admission."
March 15: Houses of worship across North Texas are closed for Sunday services. Several churches, however, streamed their service online.
The first coronavirus-related death in Texas is reported. A Matagorda County COVID-19 patient in his 90s died, according to county officials.
Denton County Public Health (DCPH) identified the first "presumptive positive," travel-related case of COVID-19 in Denton County.
The "presumptive positive" patient is a man in 30s who lives outside of Denton County but is temporarily living and self-isolating in Double Oak, according to Denton County health officials.
March 16: During a news conference, Trump says his administration "strongly recommends" that for the next 15 days Americans to avoid groups bigger than 10, discretionary travel, eating at restaurants and bars and food courts and do schooling from home.
A few hours later, the City of Dallas orders all bars, lounges, taverns, gyms and theaters to close at midnight. Additionally, the Dallas Independent School District and Richardson ISD announce they are closing indefinitely.
"The fight against this disease will require some sacrifice. But what I know about this city, which I have called home for my entire life, is that Dallas does not bow to fear, ever," Mayor Eric Johnson said.
The City of Dallas and Dallas County ordered all bars, lounges, taverns, gyms and theaters to close. Restaurants would need to shutter their dining rooms and only provide takeout or drive-thru service.
The City of Fort Worth also announced Monday it would enact a mandatory reduction in the occupancy limits of local businesses.
The measure is in place for at least seven days. It will be up to the Dallas City Council to determine whether the regulation will stay in place longer.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins also announces there will soon be two new drive-thru testing centers in the Dallas area, one in Grand Prairie at the former Verizon Theater and one at the American Airlines Center in a parking garage.
He says this will allow healthcare professionals to test up to 5,000 people a week.
March 17: Abbott activates the Texas National Guard to be prepared to assist with response efforts for COVID-19.
According to the governor's office, this preparative measure will ensure that the state's National Guard can aid in various ways across Texas as necessary.
The first COVID-19 related death was confirmed in D-FW after tests showed an elderly Arlington man who died Sunday had the novel coronavirus. Pat James, 77, had undergone testing for COVID-19 on Saturday, about a day before he died.
March 18: The second novel coronavirus-related death is confirmed in North Texas. According to a news release, the patient was a 64-year-old man from Plano.
Officials say he died at a local hospital Tuesday from an underlying medical condition and was also infected with the novel coronavirus.
Collin County officials say the positive case was confirmed posthumously, meaning the man was not included in the previous nine cases reported in the county.
March 19: Gov. Greg. Abbott issued an executive order telling all Texans to avoid social gatherings and groups of more than 10 people.
The order also closes all schools, bars, dine-in restaurants, and gyms.
Abbott also said the workplaces can remain open but staffing should be limited to essential personnel; everyone else should work remotely.
The order is in effect midnight Friday and continues until midnight April 3.
A Richarson man who was found dead in his home was confirmed to have COVID-19, Dallas County officials said Thursday.
The man was in his 60s and did not have chronic health conditions, according to officials.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner confirmed the man had the novel coronavirus.
March 20: Reverend Dr. Robert Pace, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Fort Worth is released from quarantine after receiving two negative tests for COVID-19, diocese officials announce.
The Tarrant County Health Department signed an order on March 19 releasing Pace from isolation. Diocese officials said Pace is still recovering from pneumonia and can’t talk much because it exacerbates his coughing.
March 21: Two new drive-thru testing sites open in Dallas County. The two sites are Parking Lot E at the American Airlines Center, which is located at 2500 Victory Boulevard in Dallas and The Ellis Davis Field House, which is at 9191 South Polk Street in Dallas.
March 22: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issues a "shelter-in-place" order at a news conference.
The order goes in effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 23 and will stay in place until at least 11:59 p.m. on April 3. Jenkins said April 3 is when his current authority expires hence the deadline, but he expects that authority to be extended.
The order comes hours after Gov. Greg Abbott said he would not implement a statewide "shelter-in-place" order, but would instead leave it up to local authorities to make that decision.
March 23: Dallas loosens COVID-19 testing requirements at drive-thru sites after hundreds were turned away during the first weekend of the locations being opened. Anyone who exhibits the symptoms of the disease is now allowed to be tested at either site:
- Shortness of breath
- Must show a temperature of 99.6 or higher
March 24: Collin, Denton, and Tarrant counties join Dallas County in issuing some variation of a "stay at home" order to limit gatherings and nonessential travel.
The efforts are all in order to help flatten the curve of the spread of the virus so that sick patients do not overwhelm the area's healthcare system.
In addition, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announces a new "Stay home, Work safe" order for both the City of Houston and Harris County. The order is similar to what many other communities are referring to as a "stay-at-home order" or a shelter-in-place.
The order allows restaurants to remain open for takeout, delivery and drive through. Daycares that provide support for essential employees will also remain open.
March 25: President Trump declares that a major disaster exists in Texas and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts for COVID-19, according to a press release from the White House.
The President’s action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected individuals in all areas in Texas, White House officials said. Federal funding was also made available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures.
March 26: Gov. Greg Abbott issues an executive order that requires anyone flying into Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Orleans to be quarantined for 14 days or for the duration of their stay, whichever is shorter, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Texas.
The mandatory self-quarantine does not apply to anyone traveling by vehicle.
“California or Washington State could be the next ones on the list if the list were to expand,” Abbott said during a news conference.
Abbott said the Texas Department of Safety Troopers will enforce the order.
March 29: Gov. Greg Abbott announces that the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas will become the first overflow hospital site for COVID-19 patients.
250 beds will be set up, with plenty of room to expand, according to Abbott.
Officials with the National Guard said that could become as many as 1,400 beds, if necessary.
Hospitals will continue to remain the primary location for acute care, Abbott said.
March 30: McKinney Mayor George Fuller confirms that his daughter has tested positive for COVID-19. He said the 19-year-old is in self-quarantine in Dallas.
"I'm a father that can only comfort his daughter through FaceTime, which is extremely frustrating," Fuller admitted.
March 31: Gov. Abbott issues an executive order that only allows Texans to leave their homes for essential activities. The order will last through April 30.
Abbott also said schools in Texas will remain closed through at least Monday, May 4, but added that date could be extended.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announces hospitals in the city are now required to report capacity numbers daily to officials.
He believes residents still don’t understand what’s going on and how serious COVID-19 is within the community.
“The daily numbers of hospital capacity could help,” Johnson said.
Each day by 4 p.m., local hospitals will be required to report the number of beds, ICU beds, and ventilators that are available.
More on WFAA:
- These are the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Dallas-Fort Worth
- What is an underlying health condition or issue for COVID-19?
- LIST: Shop small and help local business amid the COVID-19 crisis
- What you need to know about grocery shopping during the COVID-19 outbreak
- Need help in North Texas because of COVID-19? Here are the numbers to call