Fairfield yet to call for shelter-in-place

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As cities across Texas move to make orders for citizens to shelter-in-place, Fairfield remains open, for the time being.

In a statement made Wednesday morning by Mayor Kenneth Hughes, the city has not issued such order as of yet, citing jobs that might be affected by the change. Hughes says the order is surely “inevitable,” as various cities have already gone through with shelter-in-place protocols.

Teague Mayor James Monks declared such an order Tuesday afternoon, beginning 5 p.m. Wednesday for Teague residents. Section three of Monks’ proclamation laid out the rules Teague citizens must follow, which begins by asking residents to “shelter at their place of residence or where they currently reside.”

Section 3c. stated that person may leave their residences “only for Essential Activities, to provide or perform Essential Government Functions, to operate Essential Businesses, or for Essential Travel.” All businesses operating within the city, except Essential Businesses, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the city, except for Minimum Basic Operations.

A list of Essential Businesses is available in full on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency website, with the Teague shelter-in-place order including provisions such as:

-Healthcare operations are considered essential, with the exclusion of fitness and exercise gyms, as well as “elective” medical, surgical and dental procedures. Medical facilities will be directed to identify procedures that are deemed “elective” based on patient risk, considering the emergency need for COVID-19 response resources.

-Religious facilities should be limited to video, teleconference, and/or online services if possible.

-Essential retail such as grocery stores, warehouse and big-box stores, liquor stores, gas stations and farmers’ markets will remain open.

For more on Teague’s proclamation, visit www.cityofteaguetx.com.

Testing has continued through Freestone County, and there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county as of 10 a.m. Wednesday. If a shelter-in-place order is given in Fairfield, it will go out on the city’s emergency notification system.

According to New York Times reporting, as of 12 p.m. Wednesday there were 870 confirmed cases of the virus in Texas, with 10 deaths thus far. Limestone County has had one confirmed case as of Wednesday.

Financial help from outside sources has continued to be the focus in Austin, as Governor Greg Abbott continues to extend for help in these economic circumstances. The Governor announced Wednesday that Texas received a $16.2 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Community Living (ACL) to help communities provide meals for older citizens. The grant is part of a nationwide mission to provide meals through home delivery and other services, a key to the March 18 Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

“As social distancing measures increasingly and appropriately limit people’s social mobility, it is imperative that alternate means for feeding our state’s elderly like Meals on Wheels receive addition resources to handle the growing need," Abbott said.