Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide essential services order on March 31 that is now operative in Round Rock.
In a proactive effort to reduce the number of new COVID-19 cases in Williamson County and in Central Texas, County Judge Bill Gravell has issued a Stay Home Stay Safe Order for all individuals in Williamson County. This Order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 24 and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on April 13, subject to the limited exceptions. The Stay Home Stay Safe directives are intended to help control the spread of the coronavirus by keeping people isolated at home.
As of 12 p.m., March 24, there are 19 confirmed positive Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Williamson County, three of which are in Round Rock.
“We know that a virus knows no boundaries, so our Williamson County cities have come together and are united in this fight. We are joining our neighboring counties to show that we stand together to provide safety in the region,” Judge Gravell said.
Exceptions include performing essential activities, such as purchasing food, and going to and from essential businesses and essential government services or perform construction, including housing.
“This action is needed because we have to take additional steps today to keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed in coming weeks,” Mayor Craig Morgan said. “We’ve done a good job in Round Rock and Central Texas to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, but we can do better.”
All non-essential businesses are ordered to close under these directives, leaving only hospitals, fire departments, law enforcement and limited essential businesses including grocery stores and pharmacies open.
Essential activities and essential businesses during this order include but are not limited to:
- Tasks that are essential to maintain health and safety, such as going to the hospital, obtaining medicine from pharmacies, clinics, veterinary offices and other healthcare service facilities
- Getting necessary supplies for you, your family or household members, such as groceries, pet food, food bank, farmers’ markets, convenience stores, carry-out or delivery restaurants, and other essentials for staying at home
- Getting to work for essential businesses or services, including roles needed to maintain basic operations such as security, payroll, and similar activities
- Engaging in outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking or running—just as long as you maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing
- Caring for a family member in another household, and caring for elderly people, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons
- Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to continue functioning
- Gas stations and auto repair facilities
- Banks and financial institutions
- Critical infrastructure including energy, water, solid waste collection and other governmental services
- Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses
- Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning
- Businesses that provide social services and necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities
For details on included essential businesses and essential activities, please see the attached Stay Home Stay Safe Order.
With this order in place, the goal is to prevent exceeding hospital capacity and to avoid overwhelming the health care system by flattening the curve and reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
To ensure the health and safety of Williamson County residents, Judge Gravell issued a disaster declaration on March 14 to activate the emergency management plan, which allowed the County to allocate resources, utilize personnel and enact procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Williamson County. It also allows for state assistance to be requested if local resources and mutual aid are insufficient. Under the local disaster declaration, the County Judge is given the authority to exercise any and all necessary powers set out under the Texas Disaster Act of Texas Government Code Chapter 418.
If you have symptoms of respiratory illness including cough, fever and shortness of breath, please contact your health care provider. It is important to call ahead before arriving at a clinic, urgent care or emergency department to avoid potential spread. For more information, visit www.wcchd.org/COVID-19 or wilco.org/COVID-19.