The Hunt County Commissioners Court has issued a disaster declaration for the county that includes a stay-at-home order. The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
According to the Greenville Herald Banner, “The measure is similar to the order issued Sunday afternoon in Dallas County, under which anyone not working under an essential service must stay at home. Essential services include health care operations, grocery stores and pharmacies and businesses providing critical infrastructure. Monday’s resolution calls for all county buildings to be closed until April 3, by which time the commissioners will have met again and will address whether to extend the measure.”
There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hunt County.
The full text of the order is below:
A RESOLUTION OF THE COMMISSIONERS COURT OF HUNT COUNTY AUTHORIZING APPROPRIATE MEASURES TO CONTAIN AND PREVENT THE ~ SPREAD OF COVID-19 FOR THE HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE OF THE
COMMUNITY AND ITS CITIZENS; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
WHEREAS, beginning in December 2019, a novel coronavirus, now designated SARS-CoV2
which causes the disease COVID-19, has spread through the world and has now been declared a
global pandemic by the World Health Organization; and
WHEREAS, a State of Disaster was declared by the Texas Governor on March 13, 2020;
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, President Trump acknowledged the gravity of the COVID-19
pandemic, releasing strict new guidelines to limit people’s interactions, including that Americans
should avoid groups of more than 10 people;
WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. In some
cases the virus has caused death;
WHEREAS, the Hunt County Commissioners Court declared a state of emergency on March
16, 2020, and County Judge Stovall issued an Order on that same day; and
WHEREAS, The virus that causes COVID-19 is easily transmitted through person to person
contact, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to
protect the ability of public and private health care providers to handle the influx of new patients
and safeguard public health and safety. Because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus, and
the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, this Resolution requires all
individuals anywhere in Hunt County to shelter in place – that is, stay at home – except for
certain essential activities and work to provide essential business and government services or
perform essential public infrastructure construction, including housing. This Order takes effect at
11 :59 p.m. on March 24, 2020 and will continue through 11 :59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, subject to
the limited exceptions and under the terms and conditions more particularly set forth below;
THEREFORE, the March 16, 2020, Order of County Judge Stovall and the Commissioners
Court Disaster Resolution are AMENDED as follows, pursuant to Texas Government Code
1. That a local state of disaster for public health emergency is hereby declared for Hunt
County, Texas, pursuant to section 418.108 (a) of the Texas Government Code, and the
Hunt County Emergency Management Plan is hereby activated.
2. Effective as of 11 :59 p.m. on March 24, 2020, and continuing until 11 :59 p.m. on April 3,
(a) All individuals currently living within Hunt 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.
(b) All businesses operating within Hunt 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 foot social distancing for both
employees and the general public.
( c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) Religious and worship services may only be provided by video and
teleconference. Religious institutions must limit in-person staff to ten (10) people or less
when preparing for or conducting video or teleconference services, and all individuals
must follow the attached Social Distancing Guidelines including the six-foot social
distancing, which are hereby adopted.
(f) All elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited anywhere
in Hunt County. Hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental offices, and other medical
facilities are directed to identify procedures that are deemed “elective” by assessing
which procedures can be postponed or cancelled based on patient risk considering the
emergency need for redirection of resources to COVID-19 response.
a. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform
any of the following “Essential Activities” :
i. 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 health care
professional, or obtaining supplies need to work from home).
11. 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.
ui. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social
distancing requirements of six feet (for example, walking, biking, hiking,
1v. To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential
Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this
v. To care for a family member or pet in another household.
b. For purposes ofthis Order, “Essential Businesses” means:
i. Essential Healthcare Operations. Healthcare operations, including
hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, mental health
providers, substance abuse service providers, blood banks, medical
research, laboratory services, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare
services. Home-based and residential-based care for seniors, adults, or
children are also considered healthcare operations. Healthcare operations
also includes veterinary care and all health and welfare services provided
to animals. This exemption shall be viewed broadly to avoid any impacts
to the delivery of healthcare. Healthcare operations do not include fitness
and exercise gyms and similar facilities. Healthcare operations do not
include elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures as established in
accordance with Subsection l(f) ofthis Order.
11. Essential Government Functions. All services provided by local
governments needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government
agencies to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.
Further, nothing in this order shall prohibit any individual from
performing or accessing “Essential Government Functions.” All Essential
Government Functions shall be performed in compliance with social
distancing requirements of six feet, to the extent possible.
111. Essential Critical Infrastructure. Work necessary to the operations and
maintenance of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as identified by the
National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) including
public works construction, residential and commercial construction,
airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and
highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal,
internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of
essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services,
business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services),
financial institutions, defense and national security-related operations,
essential manufacturing operations provided that they carry out those
services or that work in compliance with social distancing requirements of
six feet, to the extent possible. Essential Businesses providing essential
infrastructure should implement screening precautions to protect
employees and all activity shall be performed in compliance with social
distancing guidelines attached.
iv. Essential Retail. Food service providers, including grocery stores,
warehouse stores, big-box stores, bodegas, liquor stores, gas stations and
convenience stores, farmers’ markets that sell food products and
household staples. Food cultivation, including farming, fishing, and
livestock. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services
directly to residences. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and
serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities
that typically provide free services to students or members of the public on
a pick-up and take-away basis only. The restriction of delivery or carry out
does not apply to cafes and restaurants located within hospital and medical
facilities. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers. Gas
stations, auto-supply, auto and bicycle repair, hardware stores, and related
facilities. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from
v. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged
Populations. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services,
and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise
vi. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain Essential Operations of
Residences or Other Essential Businesses. Trash and recycling
collection, processing and disposal, mail and shipping services, building
cleaning, maintenance and security, warehouse/distribution and
fulfillment, storage for essential businesses, funeral homes, crematoriums
and cemeteries. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service
providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the
safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences and Essential
Businesses. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services,
when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.
Businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies
needed to operate.
vii. News Media. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.
vni. Childcare Services. Childcare facilities providing services that enable
employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted.
4. Any manufacturer who retools so that a substantial part of their business is for the
purpose of manufacturing and producing ventilators may apply for an “essential
business” exemption under this Order.
5. 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 timeframe, this Order hereby
suspends all delivery hour restrictions for transport to or from any entity involved in the
selling or distribution of food products, medicine, or medical supplies in Hunt County for
the next 60 days.
6. Due to increased demand for bath or toilet tissue resulting from stock up buying and
individuals who purchase for resale, a mandatory limit on toilet paper sales is instituted
until the supply chain meets the demand or two weeks, whichever comes first. All sales
of bath or toilet tissue occurring in Hunt County are limited to the greater of: (a) twelve
(12) rolls per purchase or (b) one (1) package per purchase.
7. Due to the public health emergency, the Office of the Hunt County Judge hereby advises
the Hunt County Justices of the Peace to suspend eviction hearings and writs of
possession for at least the next 60 days to prevent renters from being displaced.
8. If someone in a household has tested positive for coronavirus, the household is ordered to
isolate at home. Members of the household cannot go to work, school, or any other
9. 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.
10. Public and private schools and institutions of higher education are instructed by this order
to provide a safety plan to Hunt County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency
Management 72 hours before students return to a classroom settings.
11. Additionally, the Office of the Hunt County Judge instructs all employees to remain at
home if sick. Employees of private businesses and nonprofits with six or more
employees in the Hunt County can use their paid sick leave when they are sick or to care
for sick family members.
12. This Order shall be effective until 11 :59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, or until it is either
rescinded, superseded, or amended pursuant to applicable law.
13. The County of Hunt must promptly provide copies of this Order by posting on the Hunt
County website. In addition, the owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is likely
to be impacted by this Order is strongly encouraged to post a copy of this Order onsite
and to provide a copy to any member of the public asking for a copy. If any subsection,
sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Order or any application of it to any person,
structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a
decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision will not affect the
validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.
14. Pursuant to section 418. 108 (c) of the Government Code, this declaration of a local state
of disaster for public health emergency shall be given prompt and general publicity and
shall be filed promptly with the County Clerk.
15. The County Commissioners also resolve to add the following language to the Hunt
County Emergency Management Plan: “Failure to Comply with a Disaster Declaration:
Hunt County may enforce a penalty of a fine not to exceed $1 ,000.00 or confinement in
jail for a term not to exceed 180 days for failure to comply with a Disaster Declaration or
a rule or an Order adopted as part of the Disaster Declaration and is punishable as
authorized in government code 418 .1 73.”
16. This Resolution shall be in full force upon its passage and approval.