First day of order

Hunt County entered its first full day Wednesday of being under a stay-at-home order because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hunt County entered its first full day Wednesday of being under a stay-at-home order because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order prohibits people from being out of their homes unless they are seeking essential services and is also designed to prevent individuals from driving between counties under similar restrictions.

As of press time Wednesday, the county still only had one confirmed case of a patient with the virus.

“There are no more positive cases,” said Hunt County Homeland Security/Emergency Management Director Richard Hill, who also serves as the director of the Hunt County Health Department.

The county reported its first confirmed case of a patient with the COVID-19 virus Tuesday morning, described as a 50-64-year-old female from the southwest corner of the county.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, as of Wednesday afternoon among the adjacent counties, Collin had reported 45 confirmed cases, Kaufman County had two cases, with Fannin, Hopkins and Van Zandt counties reporting one confirmed case each. Rockwall County had not reported a confirmed case as of Wednesday.

The disaster declaration approved by the commissioners court Monday morning prohibits anyone not working under an essential service to remain at home.

Essential services include health care operations, grocery stores and pharmacies and businesses providing critical infrastructure.

The order also activated the Hunt County Emergency Management Plan, under which individuals caught violating the order can be cited and face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a sentence of up to 180 days in jail.

Hill said the measure, in conjunction with similar orders issued in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall and other Texas counties, also prohibits travel between the counties.

“Unless it is for an essential reason,” Hill said. “You can’t drive from one county to another to visit your cousin. That’s not legal.”

As of press time Wednesday the TDSHS reported there had been 13,325 tests conducted in Texas for cases of COVID-19, with 974 confirmed cases and 12 deaths. The numbers were reported from 1,758 public labs and 11,477 private labs.

Hunt County’s disaster declaration will remain in place through April 3, by which time the Hunt County Commissioners Court expects to meet again and address whether to extend the measure.

An online map listing all of the confirmed cases in Texas is available at:

txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83.

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