Harrison County Judge Chad Sims and City of Marshall Mayor Terri Brown confirm a second and third positive case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Harrison County. In each case, the cause of COVID-19 exposure was travel-related. County and City leadership believe it to be in the best interest to be proactive and take measures to further safeguard our citizens and prevent community spread. In response, Judge Sims and Mayor Brown are both issuing Mandatory Shelter in Place orders effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2020.
Under this Order, citizens of Harrison County and the City of Marshall are still permitted to perform essential activities for their families; including obtaining medical supplies, visiting a health care provider, obtaining supplies they need to work from home, grocery shopping, engaging in outdoor activities while maintaining social distancing, and to perform work defined as an essential service. Citizens at a high risk of illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to remain in their residence except to receive medical care.
Essential services are defined as all first responders, emergency management personnel, individual performing government functions, healthcare operations, essential infrastructure, grocery stores, farmers’ market, food banks, pet stores, farming, livestock, fishing, social services, media, gas stations, auto supply/repair, banks, hardware, mailing services, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, laundromats, dry cleaners, restaurants, office supplies, airlines, private transportation, home-based services or shelters for seniors, adults or children, professional services (legal, accounting, insurance, real estate, appraisal, survey, and title), childcare, utilities, telecommunications, janitorial, maintenance, healthcare operations, funerals, defense industry, and educational services operating online. A full list of all essential services may be found in the Ordinance at www.marshalltexas.net.
Non-essential businesses shall shut down except for maintaining Minimum Basic Operations. Essential Businesses exempted from shut-down are encouraged to determine staff who are essential to operations and to send non- essential staff home.
For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Travel” includes travel for any of the following purposes:
• Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations;
• Travel to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;
• Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services;
• Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction;
• Travel required by law enforcement or court order; or
• Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the City. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of the City remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel.
When citizens need to leave their places of residence, whether to obtain or perform vital services or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times comply with the Social Distancing Requirement.
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Order constitutes an imminent threat to public health. In accordance with Texas Government Code §418.173, a person who knowingly or intentionally violates this Order commits an offense punishable by a fine up to $1,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days, and each day or portion of a day that such a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
The Emergency Management Team will continue to meet with leaders from Harrison County, Marshall – Harrison County Health District, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System – Marshall, and City of Marshall monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis and providing notices to citizens as needed.
Harrison County and the City of Marshall are following the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines and recommendations on the steps our community can take to help prevent catching or spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is a situation that continues to evolve and we will do our best to keep our citizens informed of the latest information.
Harrison County and the City of Marshall urge our community to practice healthy habits including:
1. Restrict physical contact and publicly used areas.
2. Maintain Social Distancing with a safe distance of six (6’) feet between individuals.
3. Every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of 10 or more per Executive Order of Governor Abbott.
4. Residents should not visit nursing homes, retirement, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
5. In accordance with the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors. Residents may still utilize drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options through the Executive Order.
6. Regularly wash hands with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
7. Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
8. If soap is not available, use at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
9. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. All persons should remain in the home if one person in the home exhibits symptoms
If you are experiencing fever, cough or difficulty breathing, been exposed to a sick traveler or been exposed to a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. Inform your physician or emergency department of your symptoms to prevent any potential spread.