Some Texas Cities Ordered To Shelter-in-Place

Mar 23, 2020 by

“Some Texas Cities Ordered To Shelter-in-Place”

From Donna Garner

3.23.20

[FROM DONNA GARNER – Last night Pres. Trump tweeted that the cure must not be worse than the problem itself (COVID-19). He said that at the end of the 15-day period, we will reevaluate the situation. 

So that we can put numbers into something better understood: 

The U. S. has just over 35,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 473 deaths. If we divided that by 50 states, that would be 9.46 deaths per state.

Thus far this flu season, the CDC has recorded 36 million flu cases in the U. S. with 22,000 deaths.  If we divided that by 50 states, that would be  440 deaths from this year’s flu!

*** 9.46 DEATHS PER STATE FROM COVID-19 compared to 440 DEATHS PER STATE FROM FLU

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The McLennan County Commissioners just met and have joined Waco in this shelter-in-place mandate which goes into effect at 11:59 P. M. tonight, 3.23.20. 

Excerpts from Waco Tribune-Herald – 3.23.20 — https://www.wacotrib.com/news/government/waco-orders-shelter-in-place-commissioners-extend-order-to-county/article_e6225b23-6d3f-5ce1-b6d5-7486ee1bebae.html#1

Residents may only leave home for three reasons: To meet essential needs such as food, health, and outdoor exercise; to work in essential services; and to participate in government activity. Among businesses closed will be hair and nail salons.

Essential businesses include those involving health care, child care and infrastructure, as well as grocery stores, liquor stores, farms, news media, laundry, gas stations, automobile repair, mailing and shipping, banks and financial services, professional services such as legal and accounting, hardware and construction supply businesses, and plumbing and electrician services. Restaurants may remain open but only with delivery and takeout.

All travel is banned except essential travel, and all public and social gatherings are prohibited with a few narrow exceptions in which social distancing may be practiced.

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From what I can tell, the Waco/McLennan County Emergency Declaration is based upon the same information found in the Dallas Co. Emergency Declaration (attached). However, please read through the enclosed attachment to find out exactly what is applicable for the Waco/McLennan County area.

The one good piece of news is that Planned Parenthood has been ordered by Gov. Abbott to stop doing abortions because they are “non-essential surgeries.”

[Please read further on down the page to see the latest statements from Gov. Abbott as to why he has not ordered shelter-in-place for the entire state.]

Here are excerpts from what is in the Dallas Emergency Declaration:

“Should you go to work? Here are the ‘essential businesses’ during Dallas’ coronavirus lockdown”

Dallas Morning News – 3.23.20 – DALLAS COUNTY SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER GOES INTO PLACE AT 11:59 P. M. ON 3.23.20.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/03/23/should-you-go-to-work-here-are-the-essential-businesses-during-dallas-coronavirus-lockdown

Excerpts from this article:

‘Essential’ health care businesses

•          Hospitals

•          Clinics

•          Dentists

•          Pharmacies

•          Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies

•          Healthcare suppliers

•          Mental health providers

•          Substance abuse service providers

•          Blood banks

•          Medical research facilities

•          Laboratory services

•          Veterinary care for animals

‘Essential’ government functions

•          Government functions that are “needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public” are broadly included.

‘Essential’ infrastructure businesses

•          Public works construction

•          Residential and commercial construction

•          Airport operations

•          Water, sewer, gas, electrical businesses

•          Oil refining

•          Road and highway work

•          Public transportation (including DART rail and buses)

•          Solid waste collection and removal

•          Internet and telecommunications systems businesses

•          Financial institutions

•          Defense and national security-related operations

•          Essential manufacturing operations

‘Essential’ retail businesses

•          Grocery stores

•          Warehouse stores

•          Big-box stores

•          Bodegas

•          Liquor stores

•          Gas stations and convenience stores

•          Farmers’ markets that sell food products and household staples

•          Businesses that ship or deliver groceries directly to homes

•          Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food are only permitted to remain open for delivery or carry out services

•          Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers

•          Automotive suppliers as well as auto and bicycle repair services

•          Hardware stores

•          Any business that supplies products needed for people to work remotely during the pandemic

‘Essential’ services

•          Businesses that provide social services and services necessary to life for the economically disadvantaged

•          Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal

•          Mail and shipping services

•          Building cleaning and maintenance

•          Warehouse, distribution and fulfillment services

•          Storage services for essential businesses included in this list

•          Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries

•          Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation, and operations of residences and businesses included in this list

•          Professional services like legal and accounting services for businesses included in this list

•          News media

•          Child care facilities that provide services to employees of businesses included in this list.

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3.23.20 – Austin American-Statesman

“Texas, Ohio orders on surgeries prompt new abortion fight”

By Associated Press

https://www.statesman.com/news/20200323/texas-ohio-orders-on-surgeries-prompt-new-abortion-fight

Excerpts from this article:    

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Orders by the governors of Texas and Ohio to stop all non-essential surgeries in those states have unleashed a new battle over access to abortions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order Sunday to curb the use of medical supplies hospitals will need as they prepare for escalating infections in the spreading of COVID-19. The order bars hospitals from performing surgeries unless the patient faces an immediate risk for “serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician.”

An Abbott spokesman confirmed that would cover abortion in most cases while the order is in place until April 21.

Texas anti-abortion activists hailed the move amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“The abortion industry has been consuming and hoarding medical supplies that are in desperate need around the state including masks, gloves, and other protective gear for medical professionals,” Texas Right to Life said in a statement Monday.

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Clinics in Ohio received letters from Republican Attorney General Dave Yost on Friday ordering them to cease all “non-essential” surgical abortions. Yost wrote that the procedures violate a March 17 order issued by the state health director.

…Bethany McCorkle, a spokesman for Yost, said the orders sent to three clinic operators are not political. She said they were sent in response to complaints and similar to those sent to a urology practice that was also violating the order.

==========================

3.22.20 – Austin American-Statesman

“GOV. Abbott not ready to issue statewide shelter-in-place order”

 By Jonathan Tilove

https://www.statesman.com/news/20200322/abbott-not-ready-to-issue-statewide-shelter-in-place-order

 Excerpts from this article:

Amid dire warnings of an impending shortage of hospital beds, Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday that he was not yet ready to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. But he said that he would “applaud” leaders in cities with the most reported cases of COVID-19, such as Austin, Houston and Dallas, doing so.

…Abbott explained that, as governor, he has to consider the very different conditions across a vast state.

“I am the governor of 254 counties in the state of Texas,” Abbott said at a mid-afternoon news conference from his Capitol office.

“The public knows that cases of COVID-19 are increasing in places like Dallas, in Houston, in Austin, and several other urban areas,” Abbott said. But, he said, “what may be right for places like the large urban areas may not be right at this particular point in time for the more than 200 counties that have zero cases of COVID-19.”

While not demanding that all Texans stay put, Abbott said that his message to Texans was, “If you don’t have an essential reason to be leaving your home, you should not be leaving your home. It’s pretty much that.”

Abbott said that before he would issue a statewide order, he wants to see if the limits he put in place last week show results.

“If we see strict compliance with the current standard, that means that the current standard is working well,” he said.

But, he said, “if we see activities that promote further spread of COVID-19, then stricter standards will be needed.”

President Donald Trump, asked by a reporter about his thoughts on Abbott holding off on a statewide shelter-in-place order, said, “That’s a great governor. … He knows what he’s doing. A lot of the areas that he’s taking about … are not very strongly affected. I have total confidence in Gov. Greg Abbott.”

A shelter-in-place order means that residents are to stay home as much as possible and avoid non-essential outings. They can still go to the grocery store, a doctor’s office or a pharmacy, go for a run, walk the dog and the like.

Hospitals

Abbott on Sunday issued orders to increase hospital bed capacity by postponing for at least a month any elective surgery or other medical or dental procedures that are not immediately necessary, and allowing hospitals to have two beds in a room instead of one.

Austin-area hospitals St. David’s HealthCare and Ascension Seton, which operates Dell Seton Medical Center, decided last week to end nonurgent surgeries after doctors clamored for such a restriction.

On Saturday, Abbott relaxed regulations to increase the supply of nurses by bringing back retired nurses and accelerating the deployment of student nurses.

Abbott said that as of Sunday morning, 334 Texans have tested positive for the new coronavirus across 43 counties, with Comal and Nueces counties the most recent to report first cases.

Testing

He said that more than 8,700 people in Texas have been tested, but less than 10% of the people being tested have tested positive.

He said that the state’s ability to test as many people as it could is hampered by the scarcity of testing equipment and personal protective equipment needed by those who administer the tests.

“We are asking the federal government to accelerate production and supply of personal protection equipment and COVID testing equipment,” Abbott said. “The financial challenges they are grappling with in Washington, D.C., to try to address the economic consequences of COVID-19 can be solved quicker the sooner they provide states with the supplies we need to address the health care concerns that are rattling the United States.”

“This is the same concern faced by all governors across the United States about inadequate supplies of the needed testing resources,” Abbott said. “The federal government is aware of both our demand as well as the inadequate supply and they are working to aggressively ramp up supplies that they are providing. And as they continue to ramp up those supplies, Texas will continue to increase the number of people who are being tested.”

In order to expedite the state’s ability to find those and other critical supplies, Abbott said he is forming a strike force led by Keith Meyers, who will take an unpaid leave from his role as senior vice president for world procurement for Dell Technologies.

He said Dr. John Zerwas, former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and now the University of Texas System’s executive vice chancellor for health affairs, assisted by Clint Harp, vice president Transmission Strategic Services for the Lower Colorado River Authority, would work with hospitals to provide additional beds and staff. He said Elaine Mendoza, chairwoman of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, would work to expand the availability of daycare for the children of health care workers.

The governor, who last week activated the National Guard, said they would be deployed this week to assist local hospitals and health care facilities, including helping manage drive-thru testing facilities, and helping to stand up additional health care facilities, including medical tents.

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2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Mark Bares

    If there is a stay at home order .why does fortbend isd maintenance and operations people have to come in and work when there isn’t anyone in the building’s.

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