Dallas, Hunt counties issue shelter-at-home declarations

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Dallas and Hunt Counties have issued shelter-at-home declarations, although Hopkins County has not issued such a declaration as of press time on Tuesday. 

Dallas County’s declaration, issued March 22, came on the heels of Dallas County health and human services reporting that their cases of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, had entered into the triple digits. At 131 cases and two deaths, Dallas County had the highest number of cases in the state, above both Travis (Austin) and Harris (Houston) Counties. 

Hunt County’s declaration, issued on the morning of March 23, did not seem to be in response to a case of COVID-19. As of March 23, Hunt County certified on their health portal they did not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Citizens may only leave their homes to perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members, the declarations said. 

All residents shall not leave their homes to work except to perform businesses and services that are considered essential. This includes those who work in hospitals, pharmacies, essential critical infrastructure, grocery stores, warehouse stores, liquor stores, gas stations, businesses that provide food, shelter, social services for the economically disadvantaged, trash and recycling services, funeral homes, news media, and childcare services.

Citizens may engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social distancing requirements of six feet.

All elective medical, surgical and dental procedures shall be cancelled, the declaration said. Doctors will assess with patients what constitutes “elective,” according to the declaration.