Judge Jenkins On Reopening Texas Economy

Dallas County COVID-19 5/31/20
Judge Clay Jenkins

“I believe we- local, state, and federal officials- can work together to protect public health and carefully open the economy. We must be fully committed to following the science so we minimize the risk of a second wave of COVID19 that could force us backwards. We must listen to our constituents including those voices too often ignored but critical to this response. This includes among others: voices for workplace safety and fair treatment, communities of color who are bearing a disproportionate share of the pain of this pandemic and small business entrepreneurs who create half the jobs in Texas.

We are all anxious to get more Texans back into the workforce in a cautious and scientific way.

Here in North Texas, County Judges have been meeting weekly via telephone with healthcare experts discussing ways to safely open the economy. Several of the things mentioned by the Governor today were already being discussed by our team in Dallas County such as loosening the restrictions on some surgeries and ‘retail to go’. Others, like opening movie theaters and restaurants are not businesses we contemplate being in the first group of businesses to be opened for in person experience. None of this means that on April 30, 2020, this will all be over and #SaferAtHome will end.

Rather, it means we can open the first group of businesses supported by testing and the tracing of positive cases. After watching that first group to measure its effect on public health (probably two weeks) and if successful, open the next grouping.

Together, all of us must continue making good personal responsibility decisions and limit unnecessary trips and contact. This will play an important role as to how successful North Texas is and how fast we can end this crisis.”

At this morning’s Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting, commissioners voted 3-2 to modify the face mask order set to go into effect Saturday. While the rule will still makes covering your nose or mouth when visiting or working at an essential business, a requirement it clarifies that no one will be stopped, ticketed or arrested if their face isn’t covered.

They also agreed to open area craft stores in order for people to purchase fabric and supplies to make their own masks.