Dallas judge urges Texas governor to issue stay-at-home order

4 months ago 24
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June 29 (UPI) -- Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has called on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to reinstitute stay-at-home orders and other strict measures to stop the spread of the deadly and infectious coronavirus as cases surge throughout the state.

In a letter dated Saturday but released to the public on Sunday, Jenkins asked Abbott to reinstitute stay-at-home orders for a month, enforce universal mask-wearing and physical distancing through fines, limit events and reduce indoor gatherings to 10 people and outdoor events to 100, among a slew of other recommendations.

.@DCHHS reports 570 cases and 1 death. Another daily record high number of #COVID19 cases. We're also announcing one more deaths bringing the total up to 352 deaths. I've also sent a letter to the Governor asking for mandatory masking and a new "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order. pic.twitter.com/BnNjjR4bqR— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) June 28, 2020

Jenkins in the letter urged Abbott to adopt the measures statewide "or at the very least regionally" and if he is not willing to do either then "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 action," he said.

Jenkins' call comes as cases throughout the state surge.

Texas has been vaulted to fourth in the nation in infections with nearly 150,000 after reporting six consecutive days of more than 5,000 new cases, according to data from Texas Health and Human Services.

Abbott in late April announced the first phase of the state's reopening plan, which rescinded strict measures, allowing businesses, such as restaurants and movie theaters, to open at limited capacity. The third phase of that plan was announced earlier this month.

However, Abbott put a pause to those plans last week and then signed an executive order to force all bars and similar establishments to close to thwart the skyrocketing number of infections.

Abbott expressed regret on Friday over his decision to reopen bars, stating "if I could go back and redo anything, it would have been to slow down the opening of bars."

In Dallas County, Jenkins said it had a record 570 positive case of the virus over Saturday and one death, lifting its totals to 20,165 infections and 352 fatalities. He said hospitalizations have also doubled in June.

On Twitter, Jenkins urged the public to follow the recommendations and not wait for them to be instituted.

"Do not go to the type of establishments that our public health doctors are saying are unsafe," he said, meaning movie theaters, gyms and the like. "Stay at home except for essential business trips and wear a mask when outside the home and around other people."

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