Ellis County Judge Todd Little’s Response to Reopening Texas


On March 17th, 2020, I proactively declared a local disaster in Ellis County to protect the health and welfare of our residents in response to COVID-19. By working together as a county, we have been successful in minimizing the loss of life and ongoing effects from COVID-19.

COVID-19 has had a negative effect on all of us, it has affected our time with family and friends, our economic well-being, our schools and local businesses, and life as we know it here in Texas.

Governor Abbott has provided a three-phase plan to safely and carefully reopen our Texas economy. The first priority of the plan is to protect the most vulnerable population, principally those individuals 65 and over and those with underlying conditions. A further priority is to continue robust testing and contact tracing across the State of Texas.

The Governor’s plan will require a commitment to social distancing and rely on guidance of medical professionals and data as we proceed forward. As Texans continue to join in the efforts of rebuilding our way of life, we will rely on entrepreneurs and business owners to kick start the Texas economy as we meet the criteria to fully reopen the State.

As we approach the expiration of the Ellis County “Stay-Home, Stay-Safe” order on April 30th, let it be clear that residents are free to stay home if they feel the need. I encourage all residents to wear masks while in public and to practice distancing where practicable. Residents should avoid all gatherings where safe distancing practices are not achievable.

Residents Should Take Highest Possible Precautionary Measures

Everyone should recognize the partnership between customers and the businesses they patronize. While residents should take the highest possible precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, business owners should likewise consider implementing sanitary and safety precautions to protect the health of their customers.

I believe because we acted promptly, Ellis County has not been a hotspot for COVID-19. As we look ahead to reopening our local economy, I have established an Ellis County Economic Recovery Task Force comprised of seasoned Ellis County business owners from a variety of business sectors.

In the coming days, I will present recommendations from the Ellis County Economic Recovery Task Force to safely reopen our local businesses. In the event that we are not successful in our mitigation efforts as we reopen Ellis County and the State of Texas, further closures may be necessary to respond to a second wave of COVID-19. As a community we are hopeful for the future. We have come together in true Texas fashion and have displayed resilience and strength during these uncertain times. While the burden of this virus might remain, we will continue to rise above and overcome the effects of COVID-19.