As of 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dallas County will be the first Texas county under a shelter-in-place order.
On Sunday evening, County Judge Clay Jenkins told residents to “stay safe, stay home” through at least 11:59 p.m. April 3, and the judge expects to expand the order, WFAA reported. Nonessential businesses are ordered to close in-person operations. Medical care, outdoor exercise and trips to grocery stores are fine as long as people stay at least six feet away from each other. Buses and trains will continue to run.
Violations of the shelter-in-place order may lead to a fine or jail time, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Jenkins issued the order on the same day Dallas County’s known total of COVID-19 cases rose to over 100 and the death toll rose to three.
In Dallas county, drive-thru testing started this past weekend. This is the first wide-scale screening of COVID-19 offered by the government in North Texas, WFAA reported.
The greater Houston area has 173 known cases of COVID-19, KTRK reported on Monday. But a shelter-in-place order has not been issued.
Shelter-in-place orders are supposed to “flatten the curve,” which is a term from epidemiology that means limiting the spread of the virus for which a vaccine does not exist. Limiting the spread of the virus prevents deaths and helps hospitals and other medical centers have enough resources to treat the sick.
Twitter went wild with comments about the Dallas shelter-in-place order.
I work in Dallas and its not a #dallaslockdown people. Need groceries go to the store, need gas go fill-up, need meds go to the PHx, need a doctor go to clinic/hospital. Need an oufit, nails, hair, tatoo or go to the mall, yep that'll be closed #SocialDistancing #StayAtHome— Isai I. (@Kilo5497) March 23, 2020
Anybody who’s job is considered “essential labor” during a lockdown and public crisis should be paid a special essential wage. #dallaslockdown— the Dallas Dončić-stan (@DallasSports12) March 23, 2020
Former Congressional candidate, Jason Westin MD, thanked Judge Clay for the lock down.
Thank you to @JudgeClayJ for declaring the #dallaslockdown. This will save lives from #COVID19 and #FlattenTheCurve.— Jason Westin, MD (@DrJasonWestin) March 23, 2020
It is time for @HoustonTX to do the same.@HarrisCoJudge @LinaHidalgoTX @SylvesterTurner pic.twitter.com/pebr8t8O2Q