Dallas County Commissioners, Tuesday voted 3-2 to extend the county’s Safer at Home order until May 15, keeping restrictions in place about which businesses may operate and how large public gatherings may be while advising people to stay at home unless they are conducting “essential business.” Previously, the stay-at-home order was set to end on April 30. The county reserves the option to extend the order depending on how cases and testing develops in the county in the coming weeks. County Commissioners decided on a compromise of May 15th. As Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Huang recommended that the court extend the Safer at Home order until May 31.
This caused some confusion as Gov. Abbott recently announced his timelines for opening the Texas economy in phases allowing some closed businesses to open this week. Dallas County Judge Jenkins later tweeted – “The county’s stay-at-home provisions won’t conflict with the forthcoming changes at the state level because the local order will only direct people to stay home or follow CDC unless doing so conflicts with something allowed by Gov. Abbott orders.”
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott said, “We know that Texans really want to get back to work. It’s kind of part of the Texas DNA.” The current order from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) allows some non-essential businesses to reopen this week provided that they follow the “to-go” model currently in place at restaurants. On Tuesday, Gov. Abbott said Dallas County’s May 15th date may be contrary to his state order. “It would overrule any local jurisdiction,” said Abbott. Abbott is expected to issue an updated state order on Monday. April 27.
Several states Including Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina are easing restrictions over the next two weeks after being shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Georgia Gov. Kemp announced Monday that gyms, hair salons, and other businesses can reopen Friday. Tennessee Gov. Lee said he would not be extending the state’s stay-at-home order, which expires April 30, and that some businesses will be allowed to open as early as next Monday. The vast majority of businesses will be permitted to resume operations on May 1, Lee said. South Carolina, Gov. McMaster issued an executive order to reopen public beaches and allow some retail businesses, such as furniture stores, florists, flea markets, and department stores, to reopen beginning Monday as long as they follow social distancing measures that include limiting the number of customers inside the stores.
All of the Governors re-opening plans are aimed at jump starting the economy and stopping the decline of economic hardships that are faced by many who are not considered essential businesses.
We will continue to add more information as soon as it is released.