STEPHENS COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Stephens County has become the first municipality in the Big Country to give a ‘Shelter in Place’ order, telling residents to stay home due to the COVID-19 virus.

County Judge Michael Roach gave the order in conjunction with Breckenridge Mayor Bob Sims Monday. It goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. March 23.

The order says that, “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 Stephens County and the City of Breckenridge to shelter in place – that is, stay at home.”

Individuals performing essential activities, such as buying food or medical supplies or caring for a person or pet in another household, will still be allowed to leave their homes under the order.

People will also be allowed to participate in outdoor activities such as walking, biking, hiking, or running if they maintain social distancing requirements and remain 6 feet apart.

Essential businesses, such as those involving healthcare, residence care, veterinary care, some government organizations, construction, utilities, infrastructure, and national security, will remain open and those residents will be allowed to go to work.

Grocery stores will remain open as well, with only a certain number of shoppers allowed inside, and restaurants will still be able to serve the public via delivery or to-go orders.

Many other businesses will be also allowed to remain open under strict guidelines.

Read the Disaster Declaration below for more specific information on if a business or activity is considered essential, as well as the exact restrictions that will be in place:

As of 4:00 p.m. March 23, Stephens County had no positive results of the coronavirus. However, Judge Roach says the County has 9 tests pending and results could take up to a week to come in.

BigCountryHomepage will continue to provide updates on coronavirus in the Big Country. Check back for the latest information.

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