City, County order shelter in place; state should follow suit
The County and City this morning announced a “shelter-in-place” order, which takes effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight. Violations will be punished by fine of up to $1,000 or jail time.
The order limits activities based on whether they are considered “essential.” For example, going to pick up groceries is allowed under the rules. Please refer to the links above for details on what activities are allowed under the orders, including what businesses are open for workers and for customers.
Noncompliance can be reported by emailing [email protected] or dialing 311.
Local jurisdictions across the state are implementing such orders, and I have asked Gov. Greg Abbott to do the same for the state of Texas [see copy of letter below]. While many large counties and cities are taking action to protect their residents, viruses don’t stop at city limits or county lines.
We continue to see exponential growth in the spread of the virus, and given the current limitations on who is able to get tested as well as the scarcity of testing kits and PPE, it’s likely that the numbers for the confirmed cases to date represent a significant undercount.
Eventually, COVID-19 will spread to every county in the state, and this patchwork of local orders will not be effective. It is imperative that the state take bold action now to stem community spread.
Texas does not have enough hospital beds to support an influx of patients, and health experts say taking action now is essential to avoiding potential collapse of our health care system.
We can rebuild our economy; we cannot get back lost lives.