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Harris County Issues Stay Home Order, as Texas Confirms Over 820 Coronavirus Cases

With more than 820 cases of COVI9-19 (the novel coronavirus) now confirmed in the state of Texas, Harris County officials have ordered all residents to remain in their homes beginning at 11:59 this evening.

“To put simply, this means that all of us should stay home unless our jobs are essential for the health and safety of our community,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said during a news conference earlier today.

The “Stay Home – Work Safe” order will stay in effect until at least April 3rd.

Harris County Stay-at-Home Order: The Details

Only grocery stores, medical practices and other businesses deemed essential are permitted to remain open while the order is in effect.

Parks in Harris County will stay open, but playgrounds, benches, exercise equipment and basketball courts are off limits. Residents who do choose to utilize the parks for exercise must maintain a social distance of 6 feet from others.

Daycares that provide service to health care workers and other essential workers are also permitted to operate.

Churches and religious organizations must stream services online. However, one-on-one counseling between religious officials and congregants is allowed.

The Mayor of Houston – the nation’s fourth largest city – urged residents to comply with the directive.

“My destiny is in your hands. Your destiny is in my hands,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said during this morning’s news conference. “Where we go from here is dependent on how we recognize the crisis we are in.”

Millions Ordered to Stay at Home Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Harris County is just the latest municipality in Texas ordering residents to shelter in place or stay at home. Dallas County and the City of Waco have already issued similar orders, while several others, including Travis County and the City of Austin, are said to be considering their own directives.

According to the Houston Chronicle, 78 of Texas’s 826 confirmed cases have been reported in Harris County. Yesterday, Judge Hidalgo announced that two sites in the county were ready to ramp up testing, so the case count will almost certainly continue to rise.

Public health officials around the United States are urging communities to issue shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of COVID-19, so the potentially deadly virus does not overwhelm hospitals.

The novel coronavirus has reached all 50 states, with nearly 43,500 confirmed cases reported nationwide as of this morning. At least 537 patients in the United States have died.

According to The New York Times, 163 million people in 17 states, 14 counties, and eight cities across the nation have now been ordered to stay in their homes. Texas has yet to issue a statewide order, but gatherings of 10 or more people have been banned.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Suggests Seniors Make Ultimate Sacrifice

Last night, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick stirred controversy when he suggested the elderly – the most vulnerable to COVID-19 – should be willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the economy.

“We all want to live. We all want to live with our grandchildren as long as we can,” he told Tucker Carlson of Fox News “But the point is our biggest gift we give to our country and our children and our grandchildren is the legacy of our country, and right now, that is at risk.”

Patrick’s remarks came as President Trump and other prominent conservatives have suggested a rapid end to social distancing as a means of salvaging economic growth, whether or not COVID-19 continues its rampage throughout the country.

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Our Undefeated Houston Accident Attorneys are monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and will continue to post updates as the situation evolves in Texas, Louisiana and across the United States.

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