ROBERTSON COUNTY, Texas — UPDATE: April 2, 2020

Robertson County Judge, Charles Ellison, has extended the Declaration of Local Disaster for two more weeks. Originally set to last until April 8, 2020, it has now been extended remain in effect until April 17, 2020. 

UPDATE: March 25, 2020

Robertson County Sheriff's Office answered frequently asked questions about Shelter-in-Place orders. You can read that below:

What does this Order do?

  • This Order requires that most people stay home unless they are engaged in certain "Essential Activities," which are discussed more below. For most people, this means you and those you live with should remain at home. You are allowed to leave your home for specified reasons such as getting food and medical supplies. You also are allowed to go outside to take care of a pet or for exercise, so long as you maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people and do not congregate in a group. If you are sick, you should self-isolate, including, to the extent you can, from others you live with (more on that below).

When does the Order go into effect?

  • The Order goes into effect at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

How long does the Order last?

  • This order lasts until 11:59 p.m. on April 8, 2020, unless updated or changed by Robertson County Commissioner's Court.

Can the Order be changed?

  • Yes

Where is the Order in effect?

  • This Order is in effect for all of Robertson County including the cities of Bremond, Calvert, Franklin, and Hearne.

Who issued the Order?

  • This Order was issued by Robertson County Commissioners Court.

Is this mandatory or is it just guidance?

  • Yes, it's mandatory. This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of Texas law. You are required to comply, and it is a crime (a misdemeanor) not to follow the Order.

I run an Essential Business, as defined by the Order. Do I need to get an official letter of authorization from the County to operate?

  • No. If your business is in the list of Essential Businesses provided in the Order, then you may operate it. You do not need to obtain any specific authorization from the County to do so.

I work for an Essential Business, as defined by the Order. Do I need to have a letter from my employer or other documentation to travel?

  • No. You do not need to carry official documentation demonstrating that you are exempt under the Order. But be prepared to explain, if requested by law enforcement, why your travel is authorized under the Order.

QUESTIONS ABOUT SHELTERING IN PLACE:

What does it mean to "shelter in place?"

  • The term "shelter in place" means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the exceptions listed in the Order (discussed more below).

Is this a Shelter in Place Order the same as a Lockdown?

  • No. A lockdown is a much stricter order, which could involve not being able to leave a certain area. The Shelter in Place Order allows you to leave home for Essential Activities.

What is the difference between "sheltering in place" and "social distancing"?

  • Sheltering in place is a more rigorous form of social distancing.
  • Sheltering in place means you:
    • Must stay at home
    • Can only leave your home for "essential activities," to work for an "essential business," or for"essential  travel," which are  defined in the Order (see below for details)
    • Cannot host or attend any gatherings
  • You also should maintain a 6 foot distance from other people as much as possible, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time (or use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available), frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick.

Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need or I am not performing an essential activity?

  • No. For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Can I still get my mail and deliveries?

  • Yes. You will still be able to get mail and other deliveries at your home.

Can I still order the things I need online and have them delivered to my residence?

  • Yes. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are "essential businesses" that may continue to operate.

Can I go out to do laundry or have my laundry done?

  • Yes. Please maintain social distancing.

Can I get my prescriptions or other health care needs? Can I leave home to go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled?

  • Yes. Drug stores and other medical supply stores are allowed to operate. When possible, you should have prescription medicines and health care supplies delivered to your home.

I'm a medical provider; am I allowed to remain open?

  • Yes, if you are a medical provider, your office is encouraged to remain open. Under the Order, all medical services, including routine and preventive care, are considered essential. This includes, but is not limited to, mental health services, immunizations, well-woman exams, dental cleanings, allergy shots, eye exams, physical therapy, and surgeries. Preventive care should not be deferred. Many visits involve exams or procedures that must be done in person, but practitioners are encouraged to conduct appointments remotely via phone or telemedicine when it is appropriate and feasible to do so.

Can I still go to my Mental Health appointments?

  • Yes, mental health appointments can continue. Patients should consult with their practitioners to determine whether it is appropriate and feasible to conduct individual mental health appointments remotely.

Can I still go to my substance abuse treatment groups (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous) or other group counseling sessions?

  • All participants in group counseling services must attend meetings remotely if they are equipped to do so. Groups should make accommodations for remote support to the maximum extent feasible. If remote participation is not feasible or advisable under the circumstances, participation may occur in person provided that there is compliance with the social distancing requirements set forth in the Order, including maintaining at least a 6-foot distance between individuals and capping group size to reduce in-person interactions.

What mental health resources are available for people experiencing distress?

The following resources are available to help people who may be experiencing distress or heightened  anxiety right now:

  • Call 911 for a life-threatening crisis. Call 211 for further direction
  • MHMRBV's Crisis Services provides mental health emergency support 24-hours a day, 365 days a year and is the first point of contact to begin eligibility assessment. Call 1-888-522-8262.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free and confidential support for people in distress. English: 800-273-8255; Spanish: 888-628-9454; Deaf and hard-of-hearing (TTY and chat): 800-799-4889. Chat is available 24/7. Because of the high demand, it may be necessary to wait for a counselor. The wait is worth it.
  • The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7 crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters: 800-985-5990. Services are available in English and Spanish.

Should cafeterias in hospitals be closed?

  • A hospital Cafeteria can operate like other food facilities. It can serve food, so long as individuals take the food away and do not eat it in the cafeteria. The cafeteria should follow the social distancing requirements in the Order.

What if I need to get healthcare from my medical provider?

  • You can still get your health needs addressed. Contact your health care provider to see if they are providing regular services. Some services, especially elective procedures, may be postponed or canceled. If you are feeling sick, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center. Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency.

Should I stock up on food, necessities like toilet paper, and on medicines?

  • No. You will continue to be able to purchase these items. Stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores, will remain open. Please continue to buy normal quantities of these items on the same schedule you normally follow. This action will better ensure that there is enough for everyone.

What should I do if I'm sick? If I or a family member need immediate medical attention, can I leave home to go to the doctor or hospital?

If you are feeling sick, first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center before going to the hospital. Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency. You can and should seek medical advice if you or a family member is sick. If it is not an emergency, please contact your primary care provider to determine next steps. Also, you can check online resources to help you assess symptoms if you are worried about whether you or a loved one has COVID-19. You should check the CDC website for more information. Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are experiencing a true medical emergency.

Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves? Or a friend or family member who has disabilities?

  • Yes. Be extremely cautious when providing care to vulnerable people and ensure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facilities?

  • You may visit a hospital or other healthcare facility only for the purpose of obtaining health care services and supplies. Non-essential visitations are prohibited. Do not visit a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or residential care facility other than for the purpose of securing care. People over 60 years of age are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

What if I can't get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?

  • Please contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support. They are allowed to pick up items you may need. You also can order food and other supplies and have them delivered to your home.

Can I leave home to go to my church, synagogue, or mosque?

  • No. For your safety as well as the safety of your fellow worshippers, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. Places of worship may offer remote access to services, such as by emails, video streaming, or teleconference.

The Order prohibits non-essential travel. Does that mean that I can't go on a walk or take a bike ride?

  • No. The Order allows you to go outside for exercise so long as you maintain social distancing (more than 6 feet from persons who are not part of your household). This includes activities like walks, hikes, bike rides, or going to a park.

Can I leave home to exercise?

  • If you will be outdoors and not in close contact with other people, yes. Otherwise, no. Fitness centers, exercise gyms, recreational centers, and public pools are not allowed to operate. Sport games at parks including but not limited to basketball, football, baseball, and other sports are not allowed.

Can golf courses remain open?

  • Yes, if golf course employees and participants can meet the social distancing standards and provide the appropriate hygiene, disinfecting, etc. to provide safe play for the public to enjoy. However, individuals over the age of 60 should carefully consider actions that may compromise their health, safety, and well being.

I become anxious when cooped up in my house. Am I allowed to go to a park or on a hike? Can I travel to a park or open space?

  • Yes. Spending time outside improves mood and well-being, and is particularly beneficial to children. You can go for walks, go to the park, and engage in other similar activities, but you should maintain social distance (more than six feet away from persons who are not part of your household) to avoid spread of the virus.

Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?

  • Yes. You can shop for anything that is related to health care, hardware supplies, supplies needed to telecommute, and supplies essential to safety and sanitation. However, you should minimize unnecessary trips.

Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?

  •  No. Entertainment venues are not allowed to operate.

Can I go to a restaurant, café, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other foodservice location?

  •  Yes, but only for take-home and drive-thru. You cannot dine, eat, or drink in or around the facility. Delivery is still permissible.

Can I walk my dog/pet?

  •  Yes. Be sure that you distance yourself at least six feet from others who are not part of your household.

Can I go to a vet or pet hospital if my pet is sick?

  •  Yes. Please call first to determine if the vet has any restrictions in place.

I don't cook. How can I purchase meals?

  •  Restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and similar establishments are encouraged to remain open to supply meals to the public via delivery and take-home. You also can purchase prepared foods at grocery stores, supermarkets, certified farmers' markets, convenience stores, and other such food retailers.

How can I access free or reduced-price meals for myself or my family?

  • Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced-priced food or meals to the public are encouraged to continue providing these services. You must pick up and take away the food or have it brought to you. Do not eat on the premises.

Can I take my kids to the park and can we use playgrounds?

  • The Order allows you to engage in outdoor activities, provided that you maintain adequate social distancing. While we encourage use of parks, we strongly discourage the use of playgrounds because they include high-touch surfaces, and because it is typically not possible to maintain social distancing at playgrounds. Play equipment has many high touch areas, which are not cleaned or disinfected by park crews.

Can I carry out a court-ordered visit with my kids?

  • Yes. The Order exempts travel by court order or law enforcement.

Can and should I donate blood if I am healthy?

  • Yes, blood banks, blood donation centers, and blood drives are exempt healthcare operations. If you are healthy and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you are encouraged to donate. The need for adequate blood donations from healthy people is critical.

Can I still access necessary items in my self-storage unit?

  •  Self-storage facilities are not essential businesses; however they can maintain minimum business operations and allow people to access their units to the extent they are accessing them for medical or related needs.

QUESTIONS ABOUT BUSINESSES, EMPLOYMENT, AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS:

Will all business offices and stores be required to close?

  •  No. "Essential businesses" may keep their facilities open (and are encouraged to keep them open) to continue providing essential services and products to the public. Employees may leave home to go to these jobs.
  • Non-essential businesses may keep facilities open only to maintain minimum basic operations, such as maintaining the value of inventory, keeping the site secure, or ensuring that employees are able to work remotely.  The Order does not prohibit any employees from working from home.

How do I know if I should report to work?

  • Contact your employer/supervisor immediately for instructions or guidance. Essential Businesses are still permitted to operate.

What are "Essential Businesses"?

  1. The Order provides the following list of "Essential Businesses":
  2. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;
  3. Grocery stores, certified farmers' markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
  4. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
  5. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  6.  Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
  7. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
  8. Banks and related financial institutions;
  9. Hardware stores;
  10. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
  11. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  12. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
  13. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not allow the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
  14. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
  15. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
  16. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
  17. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  18. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
  19. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  20. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
  21. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as allowed. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:
    1. Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer ("stable" means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
    2. Children shall not change from one group to another.
    3. If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
    4. Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.
  22. Utilities, telecommunications, trash collection and disposal, law enforcement, EMS/ambulance, corrections, dispatch, animal shelters, governmental employees who have not been specifically deemed non-essential and sent home by the government entity;
  23. Janitorial and maintenance services, funeral industry, defense industry, space and technology industry, technology support, and scientific research; and
  24. Religious services provided in residences, Healthcare Operations, at funerals, or provided online while being broadcast from a religious facility.

What if my business is not considered an Essential Business? Does this Order require that I shut down my business facility?

  • You and your employees are allowed to perform "Minimum Basic Operations" at your workplace, so long as employees maintain a distance of six feet from one another to the greatest extent feasible. Minimum Basic Operations include maintaining the value of inventory, ensuring security, and ensuring that employees can work remotely. Other than to maintain "Minimum Basic Operations," employees can only work remotely from their residences.

I am in the business of manufacturing food that I supply to grocery stores and other food retailers. Am I required to shut down?

  • No. All suppliers of essential businesses are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating. This includes businesses that supply food goods and prepared meals to grocery stores and other food retailers.

Does the Order require that businesses stop work that is necessary to our health care system?

  • No. The Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care.

Can my company continue construction on a health care facility?

  • Yes, the Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care.

Can my company tend to its labs under this Order?

  • You and your employees are allowed to perform "Minimum Basic Operations" on-site at your workplace, so long as employees maintain a distance of six feet from one another to the greatest extent feasible. If tending to the company's labs is necessary to maintaining the value of inventory, the Order allows for this work to continue. Other than that, your lab may only operate if it performs work exempted in the Order.

My business principally manufactures, supplies, or repairs cell phones. Can it operate?

  • Yes. If your business is primarily engaged in supply or repair of cell phones or other telecommunications devices, then it is essential and may continue to operate under the Order.

Can landscaping services continue?

  • Landscaping services may continue if they are necessary to protect the safety, sanitation, or operation of essential businesses, such as weed abatement and other fire prevention, tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition, or clearance of irrigation infrastructure. In addition, residential landscaping, such as lawn mowing, may continue given that operators maintain social distancing standards and limit, to the greatest extent feasible, the number of employees. Landscapers performing services under contract with agencies should consult the relevant agency to determine whether their services are deemed essential.

Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?

  • If they provide essential services as described in the Order, then yes, they can and should continue providing those services. This service includes non-profits operating food pantries, providing housing for homeless residents, and providing other critical services.

What if some of the work my business does at its facility is essential and some is non-essential?

  • Your business can continue to operate its facility to carry out its essential business functions. You must maximize remote work and comply with social distancing requirements at the facility. The facility cannot continue to carry out non-essential business functions.

I operate a "big box store" that sells some clothing in addition to groceries, electronics, and hardware. Do I need to shut down the part of my store that sells non-essential supplies?

  • No. You may keep your entire store open if it primarily sells essential goods and supplies like food and telecommunication supplies.

What if I have a cafeteria at my worksite. Can it continue to operate to serve workers who are carrying out work exempted in the Order?

  • The Cafeteria can operate like other food facilities. It can serve food to the remaining employees, so long as the employees take the food away and do not eat it in the cafeteria. The cafeteria should follow the social distancing requirements in the Order.

Is the local government shutting down?

  • No, essential government functions will continue, including but not limited to first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, solid waste pick-up, and law enforcement. Other government functions or offices may be subject to reduced schedules or may be closed as part of the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.

What do I do if my employer requires me to go to work?

  • Many businesses are not allowed to operate under this Order. Essential Businesses, as defined in the Order, are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating. If your work is not an Essential Business, you are not allowed to go to work and your employer is not allowed to require you to attend except to sustain Minimum Basic Operations, as that term is defined in the Order. You may work from home if your work allows.

I work in a hospital or medical clinic, but I'm not sure I'm essential. Should I continue to work? What if I'm over 60?

  • ALL employees of hospitals, clinics, and other organizations that provide healthcare, provide services to healthcare organizations, provide needed supplies to healthcare organizations, or otherwise maintain healthcare operations of all kinds may continue working.

What do I do about my kids? I have to work.

  • Childcare facilities may continue to operate under this Order. You also may employ a nanny or babysitter to provide home-based care for your kids.

Can bike repair shops continue to operate?

  • Yes, bike repair shops are treated as an essential business (the same as auto repair shops) because they are necessary to facilitate essential travel.

Can my company continue to provide janitorial services?

  • Yes, janitorial services are allowed as necessary to address health and sanitation.

Can grocery stores, farmer's markets, and other food retailers remain open?

  • Yes. Grocery stores, certified farmers' markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar food retail establishments are encouraged to remain open to provide food and pet supplies to the public. When visiting these establishments, please help retailers maintain at least six feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line.

If my child's school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to go to the school to pick up the food or meals?

  • Yes

Can warehouses and distribution centers that supply businesses stay open?

  • Yes

I work for an essential infrastructure organization-can I leave home to go to work?

  • Yes. You can go to work to maintain and operate essential infrastructure, including public works construction, construction of housing (particularly affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness), airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

I run a construction company. Can we continue to build new units and perform renovations?

  • Yes. Construction is considered an essential service.

What if I want to go to work at a physical location in the Cities/County and I'm not sick?

  • Unless your work is exempted in the Order, you cannot go to work at a physical location in the Cities/County. You may work from home for any business if your employer allows it.

Can I operate a business that sells things that can be delivered to people's homes? Can I shift more of my business to a delivery model?

  • Deliveries can continue to be sent to people's homes, and you may adjust your business model accordingly, while this Order is in place.

My business provides critical services and products for the federal government that we are required to provide on a time-certain basis--can we continue to manufacture these products or perform these services?

  • Employees and contractors of any governmental entity may continue to provide the services and products if the governmental entity determines that they are necessary to carry out an essential governmental function.

I work in a cemetery-- can I go to work?

  • Yes, cemeteries are essential infrastructure.

Are daycare facilities allowed to operate?

  • Daycare facilities may operate, but only if they comply with the mandatory conditions set forth below (as described in the Order) and only to provide daycare to the children of employees who are exempted under the Order.
  • This includes employees of essential businesses, employees who are providing for minimum basic operations of non-essential businesses, and governmental employees providing essential governmental functions.
  • To operate, daycare facilities must comply with the following mandatory conditions:
    • Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer children (meaning that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day);
    • Children cannot change from one group to another;
    • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group must be in a separate room. Groups cannot mix with each other.
    • Childcare provided must remain solely with one group of children. They cannot rotate between groups.

Can home service workers continue to provide their services?

  • Home service workers may provide services to residences if essential to health, safety, sanitation, or the necessary operation of the residence. Generally, this will mean that plumbing, maintenance (for example, to fix an interior or exterior water leak), pest control, or similar services necessary to maintain a safe and sanitary household are permissible. Purely cosmetic and other non-essential home services should be deferred to minimize the risk of transmission. Home-based childcare also is allowed under the Order.

If I operate a non-essential business with a retail storefront, am I allowed to re-configure my business to deliver products to people's homes?

  • Yes.

I operate a store that primarily sells non-essential goods, but that also sells a small fraction of essential goods like food, or products that allow people to work from home. Can I continue to sell products to customers at my storefront?

  • No. Your store may deliver items directly to customers' residences. Other than that, you may only maintain minimum basic operations, such as security and safeguarding of your inventory.

I am a nanny. Will I get in trouble if I go to work?

  • The Order allows nannies and babysitters caring for a child in the child's own home to continue working.

Can public notaries continue to operate?

  • Yes.

Can title insurance companies continue to operate?

  • Yes.

Can auto dealerships sell cars online and deliver them to people's homes?

  • Yes. The Order allows businesses to deliver products to people's residences.

My retail shop is not exempt -- can we deliver existing stock to people's homes?

  • Yes. The Order allows businesses to deliver products to people's residences.

Can a hair salon stay open?

QUESTIONS ABOUT TRAVEL:

Can I get a ride in my favorite ride share/on demand service or a taxi?

  • Yes, but these services can only be used for "essential activities," to get to and from work to operate "essential businesses," or to provide "essential governmental functions," which are defined in the Order. Keep in mind that being in close quarters in a vehicle that has been shared with many others should be avoided if possible.

Can I take public transportation?

  • Yes, but public transit can only be used to perform "essential activities," to get to and from work to operate "essential businesses," or to maintain "essential governmental functions." When using public transportation, you should maintain at least 6 feet distance from one another (2 or 3 steps away), including if you are on the bus.

Am I allowed to leave the areas covered by this Order to travel to/from a job outside the County? Does the Order allow me to leave the County?

  • Yes, but only to perform "essential activities," operate "essential businesses," or to maintain "essential governmental functions," as those terms are defined in the Order. Otherwise, no because that puts you and others in the community at risk.

If I'm outside the County traveling for vacation or business, am I allowed to come home? 

  • The Order allows you to return home.

I'm visiting and staying in a hotel, with family/friends, or in a short-term rental. What should I do? Can I go home?

  • Yes.

If I am currently outside the County, can I travel into the County?

  • You are subject to the same restrictions for travel as individuals currently in the County. You may travel into the County to perform "essential activities," work to operate "essential businesses," or maintain "essential governmental functions" as those terms are defined in the Order.

HOW WE'RE PROTECTING THE HOMELESS:

What does the Order mean for the Robertson County homeless population?

  • According to the Order, businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals are considered essential businesses. Individuals experiencing homelessness are strongly urged to obtain shelter. Shelters are also urged to utilize social distancing requirements in their operation.

OTHER QUESTIONS:

What if I'm in a line and there aren't six feet between me and others?

  • You should still try to maintain at least six feet between you and others. When that isn't possible for
  • short periods, do your best to keep the duration short. And be sure when in line you don't sneeze or
  • cough onto people or into the air. If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into an elbow with
  • clothing on, not into your hand.

What if my plumbing gets stopped up or there is another problem with necessary equipment at my home? How will I access those sorts of services?

  • Call your plumber or building manager. This Order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY (do it yourself) solution, you also can visit your hardware store, which is allowed to stay open under this Order.

What do I do about my loved one who needs care from me?

  • You are allowed to provide care or to help out with getting supplies for loved ones, even if they do not live in your household. But do not provide care or pick up supplies if you are sick and someone else can help them. If you are sick, please try to self-isolate or take other steps not to expose anyone else to your illness.

Are funerals allowed?

  • Funerals may proceed with the minimum number of attendees present. Funerals must be conducted in strict compliance with the social distancing requirements set forth in the Order.

Can residents of group living facilities like senior living facilities and shelters eat their meals in dining halls or cafeterias?

  • If facilities include separate units or rooms that allow for residents to eat their meals in those units or rooms, then food must be served on a take-away basis. If food consumption in individual units or rooms is not feasible or advisable, then residents may eat their meals in dining halls or cafeterias. Facilities should adhere to the social distancing requirements to the maximum extent feasible, including when residents are waiting in line for their food.

What happens if I don't comply with this Order? 

  • This is a legally enforceable order. It is a crime to violate this Order, and you may be punished by a fine for doing so.

Why is this Order in place?

  • This Order is in place to address the ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. There is substantial community transmission of the virus, which is easily spread between people. One big challenge in controlling the transmission of the virus is that many people who have it don't have symptoms or have mild symptoms. However, they can easily spread the virus even if they don't feel ill. And the virus lasts a long time on many surfaces (from hours to days).
  • Unfortunately, this virus can cause severe symptoms in some people and can also be fatal. Some who get the virus, especially those over 60 years old, those who have weak immune systems, and those with various medical conditions, can end up with serious complications that include fever, pneumonia, and even in some instance's death. There is no approved treatment or cure for COVID-19. That means that people who get very sick need medical intervention such as oxygen or help breathing.
  • Because the virus spreads so easily, without dramatic intervention like this Order, it could result in so many people needing medical attention in a hospital setting that our hospitals will be overwhelmed. We may not have enough beds or equipment to adequately care for the most seriously ill. And our health care workers and other first responders are also at risk, and if they get sick there are fewer people to provide health care and first response services. For those reasons, it is critical that we now do everything in our power to slow down the spread of the virus. Doing so will help to "flatten the curve" to slow down the spread of the virus and help our health care system not be overwhelmed. If this succeeds, it means that there will be health care available for those who get sick with COVID-19 or who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical conditions.

We all have to do our part now to protect everyone in the community. The best way to do that is to "socially isolate" yourself at home to avoid further spread of the virus.

Why now?

  • Our local health and hospital authorities have urged us that an action such as this is inevitable and that
  • the time is now to limit the spread of COVID-19 to preserve our healthcare capacities.

For any other questions you may have please look at the FAQ's on the CDC website  www.cdc.gov

Previous story from March 25, 2020

Robertson County Judge, Charles Ellison, has issued a Shelter-in-Place order due to the coronavirus outbreak. Issued on March 25, 2020, the order is to remain in effect until April 8, 2020 unless extended.

The order was put into effect due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in Robertson County, Governor Abbott's address yesterday, and the extension of the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency for 30 days.

The Shelter-in-Place order outlines what is and is not allowed. 

  1. All persons may leave their residence only for Essential Activities, Essential Government Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses.
  2. When using shared or outdoor spaces, you must maintain social distancing of at least six feet as reasonably possible.
  3. All businesses with a facility in the county, except for Essential Businesses, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the county except Minimum Basic Operations. (Businesses may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors working from home.) 
  4. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a household or living unit are prohibited.
  5. All travel, except Essential Travel and Essential Activities, is prohibited. 

For more information on what is defined as Essential Businesses, Essential Government Functions, Essential Activities, you can read the order here.

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