Waco issues shelter in place order

Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver announced the new restrictions Monday.
Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver announced the new restrictions Monday.(KWTX-TV)
Updated: Mar. 23, 2020 at 10:57 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The City of Waco Monday issued a shelter in place order, following the lead of Dallas County, which announced a similar order on Sunday.

McLennan County commissioners were meeting Monday morning to consider a similar county-wide order.

Effective at one minute before midnight Monday, all Waco residents should shelter in place at their homes, Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver said.

“I’ve been convinced by the health care professionals including our local health experts that it’s more important to act early than to act too late," Deaver said.

Residents may leave their homes only for essential activities such as trips to a grocery store, pharmacy or healthcare facility.

All but essential businesses are ordered to close.

The order exempts hospitals, healthcare facilities, grocery stores, food cultivators, professional service provider such as accountants, hardware stores, plumbers and electricians, shipping agencies, those that provide any type of shelter, media, gas stations and convenience stores, banks, restaurants that provide takeout or drive-through service, laundromats and drycleaners, home-based senior care providers,janitorial and maintenance services and child care facilities.

The order also exempts first responders,

Non-essential businesses must shut down except for what's required to maintain minimum basic operations, the order says.

Those who leave their homes for essential business should observe social distancing requirements.

The order does not prohibit residents from walking, hiking, running or riding a bicycle, provided the social distancing requirement is observed.

“We must do this together if we’re going to get through this quickly," Deaver said.

“We will come out of this a better and stronger Waco,” he said.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District reported the county’s 17th case on Sunday.

One of the 17 diagnosed with the virus is now hospitalized.

Ten cases have been reported in Bell County and one has been reported in Milam County.

The Mexia ISD reported Sunday that a high school band trip sponsor has also tested positive for COVID-19.

The man is not a Limestone County resident.

He returned home immediately after the trip.

Dallas County Judge Jenkins issued a "Stay Home Stay Safe" order effective at midnight.

The order, which will remain in effect until midnight on April 3, orders all Dallas County residents to shelter in place at their homes.

Residents may leave their homes only for essential activities or to provide or perform essential businesses.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the National Guard could begin monitoring drive-in COVID-19 testing sites on Monday.

At a Sunday news conference he prodded the federal government to do more to help the states secure more tests and medical supplies to fight the spreading coronavirus outbreak.

Abbott, however declined to follow the lead of other states with a statewide “shelter in place” order.

He issued orders to allow hospitals to treat two patient in a room, rather than one, and directing heath care workers to postpone all "elective or non-essential” medical procedures.

Almost a week ago, Waco officials declared a local state of disaster and public health emergency, ordering bars to close and limiting restaurants, wineries and microbreweries to take-out and drive-through service.

The city’s order bans any gathering, indoor or outdoor, that brings or could bring 10 or more people together in a single room or enclosed space.

It also closes down indoor recreational facilities and indoor amusement facilities, which include such businesses as gyms, theaters, pool halls, bingo halls and video arcades.

The order, however, did not apply to schools, office space, child care facilities, residential buildings, grocery stores, malls, retail establishments, hospitals and medical facilities provided that those present “are generally not within six feet of one another for extended periods.”

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