Ellis County Issues Stay Home, Stay Safe Order
Midlothian- On Tuesday, 3/24/2020, after hours of debate the Ellis County Commissioners’ Court approved an amended disaster declaration for Ellis County requiring residents to Stay Home, and Stay Safe.
The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order was approved 3 -2, with Commissioner Butler and Commissioner Stinson in support. Commissioners Lane Grayson and Paul Perry voted against with County Judge Little casting the tie-breaking vote.
“We need to flatten the curve…it is my recommendation that we implement a shelter in place here in Ellis County” – Dr.Leigh Nordstrom, The Ellis County Local Health Authority
According to the Ellis County Local Health Authority there is a total of 8 confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ellis county, with an additional 20 persons under monitoring (PUM) as of Tuesday Evening.
The “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order from Ellis County is effective as of 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. This order will be effective through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 03, 2020, unless extended by the Ellis County Commissioners Court or rescinded by the Ellis County Judge.
View the full Ellis County stay home, stay safe order.
The Stay Home, Stay Safe Order mandates:
· All individuals currently living within Ellis County are ordered to shelter at their place of residence. For the purposes of this Order, residences include hotels, motels, shared rentals, and similar facilities. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times as reasonably as possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their 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 as defined in Section 2.
· All businesses operating within Ellis 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). To the greatest extent possible, all Essential Businesses shall comply with the Social Distancing Guidelines attached, including maintaining six-social distancing for both employees and the general public.
· 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.
· Grocery stores, supermarkets, warehouse stores, hospitals, and medical facilities are experiencing high levels of demand for a large number of products, requiring more deliveries from manufacturers and distribution centers to serve their customers. A number of Texas cities and local associations have implemented restrictions on delivery hours to stores to mitigate truck noise and traffic. Due to the need to deliver products as quickly and efficiently as possible during this critical time-frame, this Order hereby suspends all ELLIS COUNTY delivery hour restrictions for transport to or from any entity involved in the selling or distribution of food products, medicine, or medical supplies in Ellis County for 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 are prohibited from going 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.
For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following “Essential Activities”:
· 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 (for example, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a healthcare professional, or obtaining supplies need to work from home).
· 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.
Any person who violates this Executive Order may be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 confinement or confinement for a period not exceeding 180 days.
“This was a hard decision to make. I understand this is a time of uncertainty, but it is imperative to take the necessary actions as recommended by our local health authority to support our first responders and medical personnel who are working to preserve the health of the public. We must do everything within our means to protect life and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ellis County, and we must do it now.” – Ellis County Judge Todd Little