Collin County judges releases executive order

by | Mar 24, 2020 | Latest

From staff reports

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The following was released during Collin County Judge Chris Hill’s press conference this morning.

Order of the County Judge

WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus now designated SARS-CoV-2 which causes the disease COVID-19 has spread through the world and has now been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization; and

WHEREAS, President Donald Trump has proclaimed the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency in the United States; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency in response to the novel coronavirus now designated SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, Collin County Judge Chris Hill issued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency in response to the novel coronavirus now designated SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); and

WHEREAS, on March 19, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued four executive orders for the State of Texas;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Chris Hill, County Judge of Collin County, Texas, under the authority of Texas Government Code Section 418.108, do hereby issue this second executive order.

SECTION 1. Intent of this Order

The intent of this Order is to protect the physical health and well-being of Collin County citizens, to protect the financial health and well-being of Collin County citizens, and to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible while safeguarding the Constitutional liberties of Collin County citizens by utilizing the least restrictive means possible and encouraging the highest level of personal responsibility.

SECTION 2. Protecting the physical health and well-being of Collin County citizens.

Persons who are sick and currently experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms have a responsibility to take actions necessary to protect the physical health and well-being of others.

Any person who is sick or currently experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, is hereby ordered to stay home until such time that1:

(a) he or she has had no fever for at least 72 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; and

(b) his or her other symptoms have improved (for example, when the cough or shortness of breath has improved); and

(c) at least 14 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared.

This order does not prohibit any person from leaving his or her home to seek necessary medical or emergency care.

If any person in a household has tested positive for COVID-19, all persons in the household are hereby ordered to stay home. Members of the household may not travel to work, school, or any other community function until cleared by a medical professional. This order does not prohibit any person from leaving his or her home to seek necessary medical or emergency care.

All persons in Collin County are hereby ordered to stay home, except for travel related to essential activities.

Entertainment activities are not considered essential activities.

SECTION 3. Protecting the physical health and well-being of persons at higher risk for severe illness. Persons at higher risk for severe illness have a responsibility to take actions necessary to protect their own personal physical health and well-being and to mitigate their own risk and potential exposure to COVID-19.

Any person who believes he or she is at higher risk for severe illness and who believes he or she may be compromised from exposure to COVID-19 is hereby ordered to stay home as long as this order remains in place or until the person determines he or she is no longer at higher risk for severe illness. This order does not prohibit any person from leaving his or her home to seek necessary medical or emergency care.

COVID-19 is a new disease, and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based upon available information to date, those at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include2:

• Persons aged 65 years and older

• Persons who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

• Other high-risk conditions could include:

o Persons with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

o Persons who have heart disease with complications

o Persons who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment

o Persons of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI]40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk

SECTION 4. Protecting the financial health and well-being of Collin County citizens.

To protect the financial health and well-being of Collin County citizens, including those who are the most economically vulnerable and disadvantaged, we have a shared responsibility to take actions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as to protect and promote the ability of all persons to provide for their own financial and material needs, including food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare.

All businesses and employers are hereby ordered to take actions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, to increase social distancing in the normal course of business activities, and to provide for a safe and healthy work environment.

All persons are hereby ordered to take actions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to increase social distancing in the normal course of business activities. Social distancing is generally understood to mean staying at least six feet away from other people, avoiding mass gatherings, working from home if possible, canceling or postponing large meetings, and not shaking hands. Where social distancing is not possible in the normal course of business activities, extreme care should be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to, and transmittal of, germs and COVID-19.

Pursuant to Governor Greg Abbott’s March 19 Executive Order, every person in Texas shall avoid gatherings in groups of more than 10. Furthermore, persons shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors. However, the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for bars, restaurants, and food courts is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of his Executive Order.

All businesses, jobs, and workers are essential to the financial health and well-being of our local economy and therefore are essential to the financial health and well-being of Collin County citizens. Persons who are employed need to stay employed. Persons who lack employment need to gain employment. Businesses that are able to remain open need to remain open.

Employers, employees, and customers have a shared responsibility to promote public health in the normal course of business activities.

SECTION 5. Prompt Filing

In accordance with Texas Government Code section 418.108(c), this order shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the County Clerk of Collin County.

SECTION 6. Term

This order shall take effect immediately from its issuance and shall continue for a period of not more than seven days unless continued or renewed by the Commissioners Court of Collin County, Texas.

Ordered this 24th day of March, 2020.

____________________________________________

Collin County Judge Chris Hill

____________________________________________

Collin County Clerk Stacey Kemp

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-whensick.

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2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-riskcomplications.

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