Coronavirus

Dallas County Extends Shelter-at-Home Order Until May 15

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and other county commissioners voted to extend Dallas County's shelter-in-place order through May 15.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and other county commissioners voted to extend Dallas County's shelter-in-place order through May 15. Mikel Galicia
Dallas County is set to shelter in place until May 15, at least for the time being. After a contentious debate Tuesday afternoon, Dallas County Commissioners Theresa Daniel and Elba Garcia sided with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and county medical experts pushing the order two weeks past its previous April 30 expiration date.

Commissioners J.J. Koch and John Wiley Price voted against the extension. Koch preferred that the court reconvene on April 29, when more information about the state of the county's novel coronavirus epidemic is known.

Price accused Jenkins of moving forward without a plan.

"No plan, and here we are, we're a week out from our April 30 deadline, no plan, no we're saying we're going to take it two weeks." – John Wiley Price

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"I still find it abhorrent. I've got a community, and we have no plan. I said in the last meeting that we had that, even with the mask/glove order — I call it the gag order — you know. No plan, and here we are, we're a week out from our April 30 deadline, no plan, no we're saying we're going to take it two weeks. Still no plan," Price said.


Jenkins said that Price and others who've demanded a specific timeline or set of conditions for reopening the county's economy were asking a question that's impossible to answer.

"I know that's what the people who are like 'Open it all up now' want, but that's impossible," Jenkins said.

The county's new order could run into trouble as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to roll out plans to reopen portions of the state's economy, as he did last week. The governor's order bans local officials from putting rules in place that conflict with statewide rules.

Jenkins said he doubted the governor's office would challenge Dallas County's rules. Abbott's office did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

"If the governor tomorrow decides that he doesn't like what you did today, he can fix that," Jenkins said.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young