From retirement population to lack of testing, Williamson County discusses stay-at-home order

Williamson County is following Travis in signing a "Stay Safe, Stay Home" order. While Williamson County doesn’t have as many cases, the growing COVID-19 numbers have officials moving to protect their most vulnerable population.

“We will stand together arm in arm from a distance to protect central Texas,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell.

Williamson County is joining other Texas counties in issuing a stay home, work safe order in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “Hopefully everyone will listen to that because it’s pretty important to get rid of this thing fast,” said Steve Grey.

RELATED: Travis County, Williamson County issue stay at home orders

FOX 7 spoke with Grey, a retired resident at the most risk when it comes to the virus, via FaceTime. “We’ve isolated ourselves because I’m a high risk basically, our kids are not coming over, we’re just hunkering down,” said Grey.

This new order prevents people from doing non-essential traveling in an effort to prevent COVID-19's spread. Trips to the store, doctor's office, and pharmacy are still allowed. Part of the reason Gravell signed this order was to protect the county's large retirement population, a population that includes people like Grey.

“Williamson County will do everything to protect our most fragile and most valuable citizens and that’s those who are very young and very old,” said Gravell.

RELATED: Texas declares public health disaster, closes restaurant dining rooms and schools

While Grey is doing everything he can to keep himself safe, he hopes others heed this order not just for the elderly’s safety but he knows people really need to get back to work and make money. “You know I’m alright but a lot of people aren’t alright and it’s pretty depressing,” said Grey.

Gravell said another reason they are issuing this order is that they feel there are more cases out there. “The lack of testing is absolutely hampering our ability to fight this virus,” said Gravell.

The order is in place till April 13 and is available to read here.

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a public health disaster, the first in Texas since 1901. The executive orders, which take effect at midnight Friday, March 20 and go through midnight on Friday, April 3, will bring the state in line with CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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The public health disaster orders schools to be closed statewide until at least April 3. The disaster also orders a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus. Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars. It also bans visits to nursing and retirement homes unless there is a critical need.


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