Hopkins County issues safe-at-home order

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Endsley- "Shelter-at-home" term is only for imminent danger

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12:30 p.m. April 1- County judge Robert Newsom re-declares county disaster order and reaffirms the order by Gov. Abbott. This is not a "shelter-at-home order", but all those who are not performing essential duties or providing essential services need to stay at home. This includes the City of Sulphur Springs, Como, Cumby, Tira and all unincorporated areas, according to Hopkins County emergency management. This goes into effect at midnight tonight (April 1) and will last for the next seven days. "The biggest thing right now is stay home unless it's absolutely necessary," Judge Newsom said.

Essential duties and services include:

  • Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores
  • Hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, veterinary offices and other healthcare services
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to continue performing their essential work duties
  • Educational institutions for the purposes of facilitating distance learning
  • Gas stations and auto repair facilities
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Critical infrastructure including energy, water, solid waste collection and other governmental services
  • Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses
  • Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods directly to residences

Chief deputy Tanner Crump says that it will be up to each business to determine whether or not they are essential, and continuing to operate if not essential could levy a fine. A letter should be provided by essential employer so that an employee can show they are performing an essential duty, Crump said. Employers should write a letter on official letterhead for their employees stating that they are essential and this will be sufficient for law enforcement, emergency management coordinator Andy Endsley stated. 

"We've seen whole families going into stores, but as much as you can limit that, please do," Endsley said. "Keep that social distancing, we can't stress that enough. It's key and there's not a vaccine out there... the only thing we have that we know works is social distancing." 

Things that citizens should not do, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) include the following:

  • Eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts
  • Visiting gyms, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, or cosmetology salons
  • Religious and worship services of more than ten people may only be provided by video, radio or teleconference

The use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for food and drinks is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order, Newsom stated. Parks and public spaces will remain open, Endsley said. 

For more information on who is considered essential, visit: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce?fbclid=IwAR0sYX530RlCj2pScQvw-JjMOZNuF-X0yD6XUJX4H1HhAEx9LuyFcRSgNsI

To ask questions directly to Hopkins County emergency management, email hceoc@hopkinscountytx.org