Hunt County Issues Shelter-In-Place Disaster Declaration
The Hunt County Commisioner's Court has issued a disaster declaration for the county that details a shelter-in-place, or "stay at home" order. The order goes into effect Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and directs all non-essential employees and businesses to cease activity or stay at home except for essential activities and business.
The order ends April 3 at 11:59 p.m. unless officals choose to extend the order.
The declaration details "essential activites" as well as "essential business." The order also limits sales of toilet paper to prevent hoarding, gives directives for nursing homes and schools, extends delivery hours for food, medicine, and other essential shipments, and outlines fines and penalties for disobeying the order.
The full declaration can be found here, but here are the main points broken down:
Effective as of 11 :59 p.m. on March 24, 2020, and continuing until 11 :59 p.m. on April 3, 2020:
- All individuals currently living within Hunt County are ordered to shelter at their place of residence. … All persons may leave their residences only for Essential Activities, or to provide or perform Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses…
- All businesses operating within Hunt County, except Essential Businesses as defined in below in Section 2, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the County. For clarity, businesses may continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e. working from home).
- All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except as otherwise provided herein. Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or living unit.
- Restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services and microbreweries, micro-distilleries, or wineries may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-through services as allowed by law.
- Religious and worship services may only be provided by video and teleconference. Religious institutions must limit in-person staff to ten (10) people or less when preparing for or conducting video or teleconference services…
- All elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited anywhere in Hunt County.
- To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members…
- To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others (for example, food, pet supply, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences. )
- To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social distancing requirements of six feet (for example, walking, biking, hiking, or running).
- To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order.
- To care for a family member or pet in another household.
For purposes of this Order, "Essential Businesses" means:
- Essential Healthcare Operations.
- Essential Government Functions.
- Essential Critical Infrastructure.
- Essential Retail.
- Food service providers, including grocery stores, warehouse stores, big-box stores, bodegas, liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores, farmers' markets that sell food products and household staples. Food cultivation, including farming, fishing, and livestock. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free services to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. The restriction of delivery or carry out does not apply to cafes and restaurants located within hospital and medical facilities. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers. Gas stations, auto-supply, auto and bicycle repair, hardware stores, and related facilities. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.
- Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations.
- Essential Services Necessary to Maintain Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses.
- Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal, mail and shipping services, building cleaning, maintenance and security, warehouse/distribution and fulfillment, storage for essential businesses, funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences and Essential Businesses. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies needed to operate.
- News Media. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.
- Childcare Services. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted.
- …this Order hereby suspends all delivery hour restrictions for transport to or from any entity involved in the selling or distribution of food products, medicine, or medical supplies in Hunt County for the next 60 days
- All sales of bath or toilet tissue occurring in Hunt County are limited to the greater of: (a) twelve (12) rolls per purchase or (b) one (1) package per purchase.
- …advises the Hunt County Justices of the Peace to suspend eviction hearings and writs of possession for at least the next 60 days.
- If someone in a household has tested positive for coronavirus, the household is ordered to isolate at home. Members of the household cannot go to work, school, or any other community function.
- Nursing homes, retirement, and long-term care facilities are instructed by this order to prohibit non-essential visitors from accessing their facilities unless to provide critical assistance or for end-of-life visitation.
- Public and private schools and institutions of higher education are instructed by this order to provide a safety plan to Hunt County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management 72 hours before students return to a classroom settings.
- This Order shall be effective until 11 :59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, or until it is either rescinded, superseded, or amended pursuant to applicable law.
- The County Commissioners also resolve to add the following language to the Hunt County Emergency Management Plan: "Failure to Comply with a Disaster Declaration: Hunt County may enforce a penalty of a fine not to exceed $1 ,000.00 or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days for failure to comply with a Disaster Declaration or a rule or an Order adopted as part of the Disaster Declaration and is punishable as authorized in government code 418 .1 73."