Infectious diseases are not uncommon to the City of Arlington in that numerous times over the years, concerns for the spread of various viruses have impacted the U.S. As a result, the City of Arlington Fire Department has planned for and in certain instances responded to those outbreaks. The City of Arlington is resourced for potentials associated with a major infectious disease event. Below are diseases the City of Arlington has conducted preparedness and/or response operations for since 2007:
  • 2007 H5N1-Avian Flu
  • 2009/2010 H1N1-Swine Flu
  • 2012-2020 West Nile Virus
  • 2012/2013 Pertussis
  • 2013/2014 Influenza
  • 2014 Ebola
  • 2015 Chikungunya
  • 2016 Zika
  • 2018 Influenza
  • 2020 COVID-19


Situational Awareness and Information Sharing 

The City of Arlington Public Health Authority and the Arlington Fire Department Office of Emergency Management are maintaining situational awareness through daily Department of State Health Services conference calls for the latest information on the Coronavirus and its progress in the United States. Additional coordination efforts are happening with Tarrant County Public Health information and awareness of Coronavirus related issues. Conference calls have taken place that have enabled the City to disseminate timely information and conduct critical coordination with key stakeholders including Arlington Memorial Hospital, Medical City Arlington, Arlington ISD, Mansfield ISD, Kennedale ISD and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Continuity of Operations

The City of Arlington’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) is up-to-date and was recently reviewed in FY2020. A COOP is a plan that identifies mission essential functions, key personnel and critical facilities so that in the event of a city-wide emergency, disaster or pandemic, the City of Arlington may continue to operate. All City departments have been directed to prepare contingency actions that provide for the consistent delivery of city services. The Arlington Fire Department’s Office of Emergency Management’s emergency preparedness planning for Coronavirus will be consistent with previous efforts that were focused on the Avian Flu and Ebola. 

COA Response

In response to this current potential public health issue to the city, the Arlington Fire Department has published policy guidance to EMS responders in the field reinforcing policies and procedures for infectious disease incidents. The current procedures include measures for the initial screening of individuals during the assessment as well as addressing scene safety and appropriate personal protection. Arlington Fire Department 911 Dispatch Services’ call takers have implemented the pre-screening of callers to identify potential emerging infectious disease patients. Additionally, Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management has worked with the City’s Office of Communications for proper public messaging regarding the Coronavirus and have published virus information on the City’s website, as well as City of Arlington social media platforms.

If the virus situation worsens, additional response procedures will be implemented. These actions will be consistent with established medical practices and City resource capabilities. Additional City communications and coordination efforts will be implemented through the Arlington Fire Department Emergency Operations Center if the situation progresses or if conditions begin to normalize.

Public Education

The 3Cs posters have been distributed by Fire Department crews to businesses in each fire district at areas where many citizens frequent and congregate. Mass gathering venues have been given the posters for public messaging at special events. Additionally, each City department, Arlington Memorial Hospital, Medical City Arlington, Arlington ISD, Mansfield ISD, Kennedale ISD and the University of Texas at Arlington have been given copies of the 3Cs posters to display in their areas. 

Preparedness and response efforts continue to take place on daily basis as this issue appears to be an evolving public health issue.