After Llano County officials learned of a third confirmed COVID-19 case and grew concerned over how some residents and visitors were not taking precautionary steps to slow the spread of the disease, County Judge Ron Cunningham issued a Stay Home-Stay Safe order March 30.
Llano County commissioners met via Zoom earlier that day to discuss the order. The judge then issued it, effective from 11:59 p.m. March 30 until 11:59 p.m. April 13.
While the term “shelter in place” is often used to refer to such orders, local officials are trying to distinguish between “shelter in place” and “stay home, stay safe” orders. Local and state officials describe “shelter in place” as action necessary when imminent danger is approaching, such as a tornado or severe weather.
Cunningham expressed some concern March 29 after the local county health official confirmed the third positive COVID-19 case. The judge had observed that some people had chosen to disregard Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders issued March 19 that limited gatherings to 10 or fewer people. On March 20, Cunningham issued an order requiring restaurants and bars to only offer takeout, drive-through, or delivery services and closing “nightclubs, lounges and taverns, and restricting private clubs.”
The Llano County stay-at-home order follows similar orders in restricting travel, business, and activities to those considered “essential.”
The order states: “Because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, this order requires all individuals anywhere in Llano County to stay home — except for certain essential activities and work to provide essential business and essential government services or perform essential infrastructure construction, including housing or performing minimum basic operation as defined herein.”
The order does allow for essential activities such as grocery shopping for both a person’s household or to deliver items to another individual or household. People can also take care of health and safety needs as well as care for a family member or pet in another household.
People can also participate in outdoor activities such as walking, running, hiking, golfing, biking, and fishing as long as they maintain social distancing standards.
There is also a list of essential businesses. The complete order is available online for people to read which businesses, government functions, infrastructure, and related travel are considered essential.
Cunningham’s order also calls for everyone of a household to isolate at home if one member of the household tests positive for COVID-19. They are to isolate until cleared by the local county health authority or medical provider.
With the action, Llano County joins Burnet, Williamson, and Travis counties in issuing such orders. For more information on Llano County’s response to COVID-19, visit the county’s website.
For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the Highland Lakes, visit the DailyTrib.com coronavirus resources webpage.