Dallas County Judge Jenkins has been categorized in two ways for his handling of COVID-19 in Dallas County. Some feel like Jenkins has been proactive but aggressive with his efforts succeeding to flatten the curve in Dallas. And others, feel like the Judge has gone rogue with measures too stringent.
Tonight, Judge Jenkins released the following statement in response to today’s Executive Orders from Governor Abbott.
Statement from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins
“The first priority of those you elect is to keep you safe. I’ve asked Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang and physician leaders, including those specializing in infectious disease and epidemiology from area hospitals, to carefully review the Governor’s orders and will wait to hear from them. Most other plans that open businesses in phases don’t put places like movie theaters in the first group to open. The orders have changed but the science that will keep us safe has not. I believe North Texans will focus not on “what can they do” but rather “what should they do”. It will be imperative for North Texans to make good choices particularly where these orders veer from the advice of public health experts. Following science is the best way to keep safe and open the economy.”
Governor Abbott’s reopening plan allows restaurants, movie theaters, museums, libraries and malls but without exceeding 25% capacity. And, while he encourages Texans to wear masks, they are not required and no one can be fined for not wearing a mask. His order supersedes all local orders, effectively handcuffing any county Judges from creating their own guidelines.
Mayor Eric Johnson’s Statement
“The governor has made a decision and, under Texas law, he has the final say in these matters, so now it is incumbent upon all Texans to ensure that this plan is successful. Dallas residents and local leaders have worked hard to flatten the curve of COVID-19’s spread, and we must continue our commitment to social distancing practices, good hygiene, protecting our vulnerable populations, and doing all we can to increase testing and contact tracing.”