Tarrant County Begins Enforcing Coronavirus Orders
On March 22, 2020, it was announced that officials of Tarrant County have voted to close all non-essential businesses and begin imposing civil penalties against all individuals who are found disobeying emergency orders.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, and Tarrant County is beginning to take action in hopes of containing the virus. Judge Glen Whitley has issued an order to close non-essential businesses to begin stopping the spread of the virus. According to the order, non-essential businesses include malls, retail stores, tattoo shops, hair and nail salons, and massage parlors.
Essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities will not be forced into enclosure, but the non-essentials can expect to be closed until at least April 5, 2020. As of today, the current total number of reported cases of Coronavirus is 71.
Tarrant County (as well as counties around the country) are counting on business owners to use common sense when determining whether their business is essential to society. Businesses that are not essential to county infrastructure need to close down to avoid contributing to the spread of this deadly virus.
There are now strict punishments in place for individuals who are not abiding by county laws pertaining to this emergency situation. If an individual is found breaking an emergency order, they can face fines of up to $1,000 or a jail sentence of up to 180 days. This punishment can also apply to any non-essential business that is found operating during this emergency order.
The Tarrant County Emergency Plan includes orders such as:
- Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.
- All non-essential retail businesses, including malls, retail stores, tattoo shops, hair and nail salons, and massage parlors must close as of 6 p.m. Saturday.
- Houses of worship, bars, lounges, theaters and other non-essential businesses must close.
- Restaurants must be drive-thru, delivery or pick-up only.
- If someone in a household tests positive for coronavirus, the household members must isolate at home
The county is currently deciding on whether a shelter-in-place order will be issued. Many other counties such as Dallas County are ordering citizens to stay indoors unless they are leaving for necessary outings, such as the seeking of medical attention. This type of order may seem drastic, but many medical experts have acknowledged shelter-in-place orders as one of the most effective ways to stop the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. There have been over 300 reported cases in North Texas, and there is a high chance of the continued contamination if drastic measures are not put into place.
Furthermore, Tarrant County will be providing PTO (paid time off) to county employees. Certain employees of Tarrant County will be able to receive up to two weeks of compensation if they fall into any of the following categories:
- Are under orders to isolate or quarantine for COVID-19
- Have symptoms of or tested positive for COVID-19
- Are caring for a someone who has COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms
- Are caring for a child whose school or child care center closed due to COVID-19 precautions
Richard C. McConathy | Tarrant County Criminal Defense Attorney
While The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are abiding by all local, state, and federal regulations regarding COVID-19, we remain committed to helping citizens of Tarrant County handle their legal matters. If you or someone you know may be seeking out legal advice or representation during this time, you may be unsure of how to get in touch with a lawyer.
Our law firm can still be reached via phone or e-mail. We understand that even though so many parts of the world are on lockdown during this pandemic, life will continue to happen to many of us. You never know when you may need a defense attorney, and our law firm wants to be there if you are facing legal troubles during this outbreak. For more information on how we can help, contact us at 817-422-5350. You can also click here to contact us; simply fill out the online contact form, and a member of our team will get back with you shortly.