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Jeff Davis County Issues Shelter-In-Place Order To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19

By Mitch Borden

In effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in Texas, rural communities are establishing shelter-in-place orders following Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide mandate for residents to stay at home.

Jeff Davis County is the most recent region to issue its own shelter-in-place order. On Tuesday, the rural county expanded on a previous disaster declaration and the county is now banning all public and private gatherings outside of the home for the general public.

All of the new restrictions go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 31.

Currently, there are no identified cases of COVID-19 in Jeff Davis County, but officials are putting these new procedures in place to mitigate future spread in local communities. The emergency declaration mandates that a six-feet distance is kept between residents while outside their homes at all times.

Individuals are allowed to go about approved activities such as exercising, grocery shopping, and caring for a family member. There are exceptions to the order for specific workers and businesses deemed essential.

Essential businesses that can remain open include:

  • Grocery Stores
  • Hardware Stores
  • Liquor Stores
  • Gas Stations
  • Restaurants: Carry Out and Delivery Only
  • Banks
  • Funeral Homes
  • Child Care

For the complete list, refer to the shelter in place order at the bottom of the page.

The commissioner’s court is mandating that if an individual has been to a city, state, or area that has identified cases of COVID-19, or has knowingly been exposed to the coronavirus, they must self-quarantine for two weeks. The emergency order also says if one member of a household meets the above requirements, all of the inhabitants of a home must be quarantined for 14 days.

Jeff Davis County is empowering law enforcement to carry out its order. Anyone found in violation of the decree could face a fine up to $1000 or 180 days in jail.

If residents are displaying signs and symptoms of the coronavirus call Big Bend Regional Medical Center at 432–837–3447.

Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.