newsPublic Health

More coronavirus cases in Plano, as well as other updates and what’s closed or canceled

Residents have been advised to use extreme caution and wisdom as new measures go into place.

Editor’s note: This story will be updated periodically with details that apply to the Plano community.

Updated at 5:39 a.m. March 31, 2020, with new cases and updated closures.

Plano has had 56 cases of COVID-19 as of early Tuesday, according to figures from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Four of the cases are Plano police officers who are reportedly doing well at home. In all, there are 2,877 COVID-19 cases statewide and 160 in Collin County.

Here’s additional information about the impact the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has had on Plano.

City/county updates

“Extraordinary changes are required in City operations to help contain the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19 within our community,” a March 26 announcement from the city reads.

The city’s COVID-19 hotline may be reached at 972-941-5922. The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voicemail messages left after regular hours will be returned the next day.

The city has also activated its emergency operations center, which is open during regular business hours.

All parks and recreation facilities and libraries in the city are closed through April 27. City facilities will be on the same timeline as other private businesses in the city have been closed or had service modifications, according to city officials.

Collin County residents have been ordered to stay home, except for essential activities, because of the coronavirus outbreak. The order went into place Tuesday, March 24, and will last seven days unless it’s renewed by the county’s Commissioners Court.

However, all businesses in the county are allowed to stay open during the order. Officials said this decision was made to keep local economies functioning. This is a major difference from Dallas County’s shelter-in-place order, which has allowed only “essential businesses,” such as grocery stores and health care facilities, to remain open.

Additional details are available on the city’s website.

The first Collin County death was a 64-year-old Plano man who died at a hospital last week. He had an underlying medical condition and had been infected with COVID-19, officials said.

Health authorities did not release information about the patients’ travel history.

Plano declared a local state of disaster for a public health emergency on March 16.

City closures and news

• The city council has restricted restaurant service and ordered bars, lounges, taverns, theaters, gyms and private clubs to close until April 27. Restaurants can still offer takeout, delivery, drive-in or drive-thru services, but not dine-in, according to the resolution.

• All City Board and Commission meetings, with the exception of Plano City Council, Planning and Zoning and any other meeting required by law, are postponed until their regular May meeting.

• All youth sports leagues are suspended through March 27 for practice and play, and then the closure will be reassessed. The Plano Sports Authority has also suspended league play.

• Citizens are encouraged to watch city council meetings online and submit comments of public interest or comments on agenda items electronically to the City Secretary, Lisa Henderson, at lisah@plano.gov.

• All meetings at the Plano Event Center, special events and facility rentals will be offered refunds of deposit and/or fees for events.

Preventive posters: City staffers are delivering posters across the city with smart health tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to thwart the spread of coronavirus and other respiratory diseases. Organizations and businesses are asked to display the posters in areas where the public and their employees gather.

“Our hope is we can deliver a shared, consistent message to help protect our friends, neighbors and co-workers,” according to a statement by the city.

The posters are intended to help schools, senior living facilities, the Chamber of Commerce, the faith-based community, other city partners and residents. Downloadable copies of the posters are also available and may be printed and displayed as needed.

Additionally, the city has prepared a video about COVID-19 and frequently asked questions. Information is also available on the Inside Plano Podcast.

Event cancellations and postponements

Here are some canceled or postponed Plano events that may have been on your calendar, and here’s a list of events across Dallas-Fort Worth.

Plano Symphony Orchestra: The orchestra has canceled all March performances, citing the “the health, safety, and well-being of every member of the Plano Symphony Orchestra family” and the North Texas community.

The cancellations include the subscription concert on March 21 and school concerts on March 17, 18 and 19.

Ticket holders for “The Young Artists & Ravel’s Bolero” may:

  • Donate the tickets and receive a tax deduction for the entire ticket value.
  • Exchange the tickets for the “Beethoven’s Emperor” Concert on April 26.
  • Receive a credit that may be used during the upcoming season.

Texas Fly Fishing and Brew Festival: The March 21 and 22 festival at Plano Event Center has been canceled.

Plano ISD

The district announced Wednesday that schools and offices will remain closed and activities canceled through April 3.

“We wish to express gratitude to our entire community of families, staff, volunteers and community partners for your patience and support during these uncertain times,” the district said in an email. “Plano ISD will remain flexible as we roll out our long-term plan for instructional continuity, and as we continue to navigate the many details of this unprecedented situation.”

On Sunday, the school board held an executive session and voted to approve paying all regular employees during any closures through the end of the 2020-21 school year, Community Impact News reported.

Other updates will be released across the district’s communication channels and on its website as soon as they are available.

Travel for student competitions and events outside of the district is being evaluated case by case.

During the closure, students will be able to access digital tools the district provides that support in-class learning. They are available through the PISD Webdesk and the student digital backpack, the district’s website states.

If it is necessary to extend the closure, the district will provide more information on how technology will be used for student learning. Officials are asking families to fill out an online survey to determine students’ ability to access technology outside of school.

“We fully recognize the irony of using an online survey to gather this information,” the city’s website states, adding that "offline” methods will also be used to collect data. You can access the survey at pisd.edu/techaccess.

“Meanwhile, care for yourself, your family and those around you, and continue to adhere to the preventative measures as recommended by public health officials, such as limiting interaction and practicing social distancing," Superintendent Sara Bonser wrote in a prepared statement.

School meals: Free “grab-and-go” breakfast and lunch meals will be available for curbside pickup at six locations to all Pre-K through 12 students while the district is closed, starting Monday, March 16. The schedule may need to be adjusted, and updates will be posted on this website.

  • Breakfast: 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The meals are available only at the following locations:

  • Daffron Elementary School, 3900 Preston Meadow Drive
  • IB World School at Huffman Elementary,5510 Channel Isle Drive
  • Meadows Elementary School, 2800 18th St.
  • Sigler Elementary School, 1400 Janwood Drive
  • Thomas Elementary School, 1800 Montana Trail
  • Rose Haggar Elementary, 17820 Campbell Road, Dallas

Other measures: The district is taking additional steps to clean schools. During spring break, all campuses and school buses were deep cleaned with a hospital-grade disinfectant. Plano ISD has also used auto-scrubber machines to clean and sanitize major hallways and common areas of campuses.

Connect with needs and opportunities from Get immediate access to organizations and people in the DFW area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.

Teri Webster. Teri Webster is a freelancer covering Plano for The Dallas Morning News. She has worked as a staff writer and freelancer for several area news outlets and is a regular contributor to Fort Worth Weekly. Email story tips to writerteriw@gmail.com.

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