The Kaufman County Commissioners Court met on Tuesday to discuss new actions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. While no cases have been confirmed in Kaufman County, officials said they are bracing for the inevitable.
Most notably, the commissioners issued a shelter in place order for 14 days, effective midnight on March 25, ordering citizens to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave. During these orders, residents will be able to buy groceries, get medical supplies, and do outdoor exercise such as running or hiking.
“This is a time for us to pause and be grateful for this great country and great state of Texas in which we live,” County Judge Hal Richards said in a press release. “We have tremendous resources and our leaders and medical professionals are working diligently to provide the very best care for all of us.”
Most workers are expected to stay home until the order is lifted, excluding those whose jobs are considered essential services. Police, medical and emergency services will continue to operate, as well as many other jobs that are crucial to public health and safety.
The commissioners also voted unanimously to extend the declaration of local disaster in Kaufman County for an additional 30 days. The state of emergency had previously been declared on March 18. This declaration will help bring reimbursements for medical supplies, such as masks and gloves. They also hope to secure reimbursements for laptops that will be used to consult with patients via video chat.
As restrictions have become increasingly tighter, many of Kaufman's businesses have been forced to temporarily close their doors, leaving employees without work.
“While it is understood this order will cause inconvenience and financial challenges, it is everyone’s responsibility to our communities to do our part to stop this pandemic from getting worse,” Richards said.