Dallas County Moves to Shelter in Place to Stem Coronavirus Transmission

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As of midnight on Monday, March 23, Dallas County will have a mandatory “shelter-in-place” order. What does that mean for residents?

The order states people may leave their residences only for essential activities — including to get supplies for themselves and their families or perform tasks essential to their health and safety and that of others — or to operate essential businesses, such as healthcare, critical infrastructure and retail, including grocery stores.

Claire Cardona, NBC 5 DFW

While some people are saying that Dallas County is under “lockdown,” it’s important to distinguish between this more severe movement restriction and “shelter-in-place.”

A lockdown is literally locking the doors — no one in and no one out — until the order is lifted. A lockdown for Dallas and Dallas County have not been ordered. However, experts recommend that those who are sheltering in place leave the house only for essentials, and that they restrict their grocery shopping to one trip per week.

Dallas Builders Association Rallies Members to Collect PPE For Hospital Workers

PPE — shorthand for Personal Protective Equipment — is currently being rationed at hospitals as cases of coronavirus are on the rise. Rationing of PPE puts nurses and hospital staff at risk of contracting the virus, and as soon as hospital staff can no longer care for patients, the healthcare system will collapse.

To stave off that collapse, the Dallas Builders Association is conducting a drive on Tuesday, March 24, for several PPE items:

  • Mask, N95 Particulate Respirator/Surgical
  • Gloves (non-sterile, powder free)
  • Shoe Covers
  • Impermeable coverall without integrated hood
  • Mask, Standard Procedure, Yellow, Pleat style w/Ear Loops – one size fits all

Donations will be collected from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at four County Medical Society Offices in Denton, Dallas, Collin and Tarrant.

For more information, visit the Dallas Builders Association website.

Real Estate Industry Adapts as Business Moves Virtual

According to the National Association of Realtors, one in four sellers is changing the way their home is viewed in light of coronavirus news. The survey, conducted earlier this month, offered insight into strategies homeowners prefer to minimize the transmission of the highly contagious virus:

The changes include stopping open houses, requiring potential buyers to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer, asking buyers to remove shoes or wear footies, or other changes.

The percentage of sellers adopting these and other changes climbs to 44% and 34%, respectively, in Washington State and California, two of the states hardest hit by coronavirus.

National Association of Realtors

Stagers Diversify as Industry Moves to Serve Clients Online

Stagers are also adapting to changing times. Homes are still being bought and sold — with a lot of the closing being done in very small groups and sometimes virtually. To keep more stagers in business, Staging Studio has set up some guidelines:

More and more stagers are using Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom to give virtual “walk-and-talk” consultations to help buyers pinpoint problems on their homes before they put them on the market, or photo consultations that involve a questionnaire.

Additionally, Staging Studio offers the following tips:

Ensure that you and your team can access crucial information remotely.

If you have been old school in the way you do business – getting a check or key in person, paying bills in person, banking in person – now is the time to get online with all of that.

Do you have a backup plan for others running operations if you are unable to be present at work? Everyone on your team should be cross-trained so that they can cover for each other.

Make it your goal to hold in reserves enough money to meet payroll for 3 months. We realize that not everyone has been able to build that safety net yet, but it should be part of your business plan to get there.

This WILL be a difficult time, we don’t want to minimize that. If you do not have that margin, be up front with your staff. Don’t wait until payday and then say, “Whoops, sorry. Can’t pay you this week.”

Think through your inventory stock and your projected needs. Prepare for any possible supply chain disruptions.

By Debbie Boggs, Staging Studio Co-Founder 

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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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