Collin County Residents Mixed on New Shelter in Place Order That Says ‘All Businesses Are Essential’

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Collin County residents may have more questions than answers after officials issued a modified shelter in place order March 24, asking residents to stay home but urging businesses to stay open. It largely leaves decisions whether to stay home up to businesses and city mayors to enact stricter guidelines.

“I’m announcing new ‘stay home, work smart’ measures in which residents should stay home except for travel to essential activities,” Collin County Judge Chris Hill said Tuesday morning at a press conference. “To protect the financial well-being of our Collin County economy, it is critical that we keep people at work.”

A point Hill emphasized a few times to reporters during questioning, “All businesses, all jobs, and all workers are essential to the financial health of our local economy and therefore essential to the financial health and wellbeing of Collin County citizens,” he said.

Some residents watching the press conference streamed live on Facebook sought clarification or expressed frustration at a seemingly mixed message.

“I would like to know what are the parameters to consider closing some “essential businesses,” said Carrolyn Edmonson Moebius. “His definition of essential business is all businesses.”

“‘Stay home’ to citizens and ‘stay open for business’ for business owners is a direct contradiction for small business owners,” said Cyrus Laali, a small business owner from Plano. “How are small business owners supposed to create revenue with no customers?”

Others felt the Collin County order struck a good balance.

“Stay home if you need. Work from home if possible,” said Caley Rosenberg of Richardson. “[Collin County Judge Chris Hill] is trying to keep the economy alive and also people safe.”

What Are Essential Businesses?

In the press conference, Hill did not delineate between businesses or industries that are deemed essential by the federal government and those he is calling essential to the Collin County economy.

The Department of Homeland Security issued advisory guidance on March 19 regarding workers who are essential to infrastructure, Business Insider reported. Though not “a federal directive or standard in and of itself,” the Department of Homeland Security suggests:

  • Supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Big-box stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Convenience stores and discount stores
  • Garbage collection
  • Healthcare operations
  • Daycare centers
  • Hardware stores
  • Gas stations and auto-repair shops
  • Banks
  • Post offices and shipping businesses
  • Veterinary clinics and pet stores
  • Farmers’ markets and food banks
  • Businesses that provide necessities to shelters and economically disadvantaged people
  • Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning
  • Agriculture and food processing
  • Warehousing, storage, and distribution
  • Transportation, including airlines, taxis, rideshare programs, and vehicle rentals
  • Businesses that allow essential businesses to operate

Texas Realtors asked Governor Greg Abbott to consider real estate an essential business. Meanwhile, title companies are considered essential businesses.

Collin County Cases of COVID-19

A total of 118 people have been confirmed positive with COVID-19 in Collin County as of March 28. According to Hill, there have been 547 negative COVID-19 tests in Collin County.

  • The county’s first case on March 9, a Frisco man in his late 30s who tested “presumptive positive,” as well as his wife and their three-year-old child who later tested positive as well.
  • The county’s 10th confirmed case on March 18: A 64-year-old Plano man died in a local hospital from an underlying medical condition and was infected with COVID-19. Due to the nature of how the case was reported to the county, officials here do not have a cause of death for the man, nor do they know if he came in contact with the virus locally or through travel.
  • 18 total cases on March 19
  • 27 total cases on March 20
  • 31 total cases on March 21
  • 38 total cases on March 22
  • 45 total cases on March 23
  • 53 total cases on March 24
  • 66 total cases as of March 25
  • 88 total cases as of March 26
  • 118 total cases as of March 27

Collin County’s confirmed cases as of March 24 are listed in descending chronological order below.

  • Frisco, Male, 72, no underlying health conditions, hospitalized.
  • A Melissa woman, 35, who recently went on domestic travel.
  • A 42-year-old Melissa man with underlying health conditions and recent domestic travel
  • A Frisco man, 41, with underlying health conditions
  • The county’s 50th case on March 24: A 77-year-old woman in Richardson with recent international travel
  • A 27-year-old man from McKinney who had close contact with a confirmed case
  • An Allen woman, 61, who had close contact with another person with COVID-19
  • A 63-year-old woman from Allen who had close contact with another confirmed case
  • A 54-year-old man from Allen
  • A 29-year-old Dallas man with no known underlying health conditions or recent travel.
  • A woman in Plano, 26 years old, who had no reported travel and no known underlying health conditions.
  • A 43-year-old McKinney man who had no reported travel recently, no underlying health conditions, but has needed hospitalization.
  • A 34-year-old McKinney woman who traveled internationally with no underlying health conditions.
  • A woman in Allen, 39, who recently traveled within the U.S., who has no underlying health conditions.
  • The county’s 40th case on March 23: An Anna man, 27, who traveled recently within the U.S., had no underlying health conditions.
  • A 49-year-old Plano man with no reported underlying health conditions.
  • A McKinney man, 47, who recently traveled within the U.S., with no underlying health conditions.
  • A 47-year-old McKinney man who traveled within the U.S, recently, with no underlying health conditions.
  • A 46-year-old Plano man with no known travel outside of the county and no known underlying health conditions.
  • A 50-year-old Plano woman with no underlying health conditions after having close contact with someone confirmed to have the virus.
  • A 7-year-old girl in Allen who recently traveled within the U.S., has no underlying health conditions.
  • An Allen man, 51, with no underlying health conditions who had close contact with a confirmed case.
  • A Plano man, 45, no reported travel and an underlying health condition.
  • A 56-year-old McKinney woman with no reported travel and no underlying medical conditions.
  • A 45-year-old woman from Wylie, who reported no recent travel.
  • The county’s 30th case on March 21: A 61-year-old Frisco man, with no reported travel.
  • A man in Plano, 38, who traveled outside the U.S.
  • A 56-year-old Plano woman who traveled within the U.S.
  • A 20-year-old woman in Frisco with underlying health conditions and no reported travel.
  • A 49-year-old Richardson woman who traveled out of the country recently and is reported to have an underlying health condition.
  • A 73-year-old man in Dallas who traveled within the U.S., who has no underlying health conditions.
  • A 67-year-old Plano woman who recently traveled within the U.S., with no underlying health conditions.
  • A Plano man, 48, with no reported travel, no underlying health conditions.
  • A 51-year-old man in McKinney with no underlying health conditions or recent travel.
  • A man from McKinney, also 51, who has no reported travel, no underlying health conditions.
  • The county’s 20th case on March 20: A woman in Wylie, 56, who has no underlying health conditions and traveled within the U.S.
  • A 67-year-old Plano man with no underlying health conditions who traveled outside the country.
  • A 57-year-old Richardson man who has no underlying health conditions.
  • A 58-year-old Melissa resident with an underlying medical condition tested positive for COVID-19 while traveling out of state, where he will remain in self-isolation until cleared to travel. 
  • A 42-year-old woman in Plano with an underlying health condition. 
  • A 46-year-old Allen man with an underlying health condition and currently hospitalized.
  • A 37-year-old woman in McKinney with an underlying health condition.
  • A 54-year-old man from Anna with underlying health conditions. 
  • A 38-year-old man from Plano with no underlying health conditions.
  • A 39-year-old McKinney man with no underlying medical conditions. 
  • The county’s tenth confirmed case on March 18: A 64-year-old Plano man died in a local hospital from an underlying medical condition and was infected with COVID-19. Due to the nature of how the case was reported to the county, officials here do not have a cause of death for the man, nor do they know if he came in contact with the virus locally or through travel.
  • A 32-year-old Plano woman with no underlying health conditions. 
  • A 32-year-old man in Frisco who has no underlying health conditions.
  • A 56-year-old man in Plano who has no underlying health conditions.
  • A 47-year-old Plano woman who has no underlying health conditions. 
  • A 40-year-old Frisco woman with no underlying medical conditions.
  • A 35-year-old McKinney man with no underlying medical condition.
  • The county’s first case on March 9, a Frisco man in his late 30s who tested “presumptive positive,” as well as his wife and their three-year-old child who later tested positive as well.

What Cities Have Shelter in Place?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday he would refrain from issuing a statewide shelter-in-place order and instead would leave the decision up to city and county leaders.

He made the recommendation that residents avoid gatherings of 10 or more people and closed all Texas restaurant dining rooms, bars, gyms, and schools last Friday.

Collin County’s “Stay home, work smart” order follows a handful of Texas counties using this modified form of shelter-in-place. The slogan “Stay home, work safe,” was first used by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Denton County officials have just enacted a “stay at home” mandate for all residents, including Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Denton, and parts of Dallas and Plano. The order begins Wednesday, March 25 at 11:59 p.m. and lasts until March 31.

Denton County has 148 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, as of March 28.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins enacted a “Stay home, stay safe” shelter-in-place plan on March 22, which restricts Dallas County residents from leaving their homes for anything but essential tasks. Richardson, which resides in both Dallas and Collin County, followed suit on March 23 with a shelter-in-place order. The city of Garland, wholly in Dallas County, also enacted a shelter-in-place order.

Dallas County has 439 confirmed cases, as of March 28.

Dallas County (Click to open larger map)

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley has ordered all residents to stay at home from 11:59 p.m. March 24 until April 7.

Tarrant County has 128 confirmed cases, as of March 28.

You can watch the entire Collin County press conference here.

Posted by Collin County Government on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Helpful Links

Federal and National Government

Johns Hopkins University has published a constantly updating dashboard of data.

The CDC’s information page is updated at noon Mondays through Fridays. Numbers close out at 4 p.m. the day before reporting.

CDC database for travel restrictions by country.

State and Local Government

Dallas County Health and Human Services updates

Dallas County dashboard updated daily with testing data

Dallas County in-depth data analysis updated twice weekly

City of Dallas COVID Updates

Collin County Health and Human Services news and advisories

Collin County Judge Chris Hill’s website with county updates.

The City of Frisco has set up a page for continuing updates regarding closures, preparedness, and health information.

Tarrant County COVID Updates

Denton County COVID Updates

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Shelby Skrhak

Shelby is Associate Editor of CandysDirt.com. She's a journalist and podcaster turned full-time freelance writer based in Plano. She comes to CandysDirt.com after 12 years with SUCCESS magazine as digital content director. After hosting two top-rated iTunes Top 200 podcasts, she launched her own podcast called the Secret to My Success. She's a Lake Highlands native and graduate of UT-Dallas.

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Comments

  1. William Kritzer says

    I am a doctor in Allen, TX (Collin County) and I consider Judge Hill’s “order” to be totally irresponsible as everyone CAN remain open. For example, you can still go and get a hair cut, spa treatment, tattoo, visit a nail salon which can be a prolonged person to person direct contact. This does NOT meet the guidelines of the 6 foot “social distancing” as I believe that ALL businesses during the crisis should NOT be considered essential per Judge Hill.

    In my opinion, the “Order” should have been an exact duplicate of Judge Clay Jenkins for Dallas.

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