DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to issue further orders in the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases, including a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and a statewide face mask requirement.
The state has seen a spike in new cases recently during its reopening process. In response to the surge, Abbott halted any further reopening phases last week.
On Friday, Abbott also ordered bars to close for the second time during the pandemic and for restaurants to go back to a 50% limited capacity, down from 75%. Elective surgeries that aren’t immediately necessary were also stopped in Dallas, Harris, Travis and Bexar counties.
However, Jenkins said he has sent a letter to Abbott, asking for further action. In the letter, Jenkins said if Abbott cannot issue the recommended orders, then he is asking for the ability to order these at the local level.
Jenkins asked for the following orders to take place:
- Reinstitute “Stay Home, Stay Safe” for 30 days
- Universal masking/physical distancing that is enforced with fines statewide or at least regionally.
- Limit events/situations where individuals congregate
- Businesses that can maintain work from home or physical distancing may remain open at 50% capacity (such as professional services that allow for an individual to work isolated in an office)
- Reduce indoor gatherings to a ten person limit with mandatory masking and physical distancing
- Maintain outdoor events to a limit of 100 with mandatory masking and physical distancing
- Restaurants to be closed except for take-out or outdoor seating only with physical distancing
- Close bowling alleys, arcades, concerts, movie theaters, gyms (to include yoga and spin studios, etc.), group youth sports, public pools, day camps, and other social venues or activities that do not allow strict physical distancing or masks to be strictly worn (i.e., cigar bars)
- Maintain bar closures
- Daycare can remain open for essential workers only with CDC masking and safety rules
“I made my peace early on during this crisis to always follow the science and our public health experts. I recommend that you enact these requirements statewide, or at the very least, regionally. If not, please rescind your prior order restricting local control and allow Dallas County to implement the above recommendations in an effort to slow the spread of the rampant and devastating COVID-19 virus. Lives depend on swift actions,” Jenkins wrote in the letter.
Dallas County reported record-highs for three straight days with 496 on Friday, 561 on Saturday and 570 on Sunday.