Dallas County Issues Shelter in Place
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issues an official shelter in place order. This order goes in effect on March, 23 at 11:59 p.m. This order shutters all non-essentials businesses for the next two weeks. Businesses are set to reopen on April 3. Providing the judge’s orders are not extended longer.
Residents who violate the judge’s orders may face a fine of up to 180 days in jail. Dallas County residents are urged to stay home unless absolutely necessary. This order comes as the numbers of cases rise above 100 in the county.
“This order is our best chance to flatten the curve here in Dallas County and save as many lives as possible,” Jenkins said. “It makes me sick that we’re at this point.”
Gov. Greg Abbott said in a press conference “We need to see the level of effectiveness of the executive order,” Abbott said. “What we may be right for places like the large urban areas may not be right at this particular point of time for the more than 200 counties that have zero cases of COVID-19.”
Residents are still allowed to do basic necessities including walking their animals, exercising, grocery shop, order delivery from restaurants, and even use public transportation as necessary to accomplish these goals. Necessary medical tasks are also unaffected from this order. “However, religious services must be broadcast and must limit the staff members on-site to 10. Weddings are prohibited. Funerals may go on, but social distancing is required. Elective surgery and dental work must be rescheduled.” stated The Dallas Morning News.
As of March 25, there are 169 reported cases in Dallas county. With a death toll of five. 44% of these reported cases have not traveled outside of the state in the past few weeks. Leaving county officials to the conclusion that the virus has a strong foothold in the community. The numbers in the county and all across the world are expected to rise as more testing becomes readily available.
“The goal of this order is never to exceed our hospital capacity and to minimize the catastrophic outcomes we’ve seen in other countries because they waited too long,” Jenkins said.