Tammy Dana-Bashian

Dallas County recently issued a set of amended orders that went into effect at 11:59 p.m. March 29, and just as the city of Rowlett has done in the past, the city has amended its Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency order to mirror that of Dallas County.

The city’s amended order is effective as of 11:59 p.m. March 30. The shelter in place order was also extended from April 3 to April 30. This decision was made during a special City Council meeting held via teleconference Monday night.

A summary of the amended order includes no longer allowing individuals to pick up food inside a restaurant. All take-out food must be brought outside to the customers. Gas stations and convenience stores are prohibited from selling self-service food items. Religious institutions must limit in-person staff to 10 people or less at one time, and 25 people total per day, when preparing for or conducting video or teleconference services.

The addition of basic minimum operations provisions as an allowable activity for businesses, including minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of inventory, process payroll and employee benefits, and price gouging provisions were put in place.

During Monday night’s meeting Mayor Tammy Dana-Bashian made a personal plea to Rowlett residents.

“We are working very hard to communicate current information as soon as it becomes available, and it changes very quickly. At this time, during this disaster declaration, it is every household’s responsibility to stay up to date on the current information. The information changes rapidly, and most of the time the changes will impact you and your family personally,” she said. “We can’t have situations in which people are not following the rules because they were not told or they were not told with sufficient notice, that’s just where we’re at right now. We need you to be proactively reaching out for the information that we are providing in great detail.”

Dana-Bashian stressed that people need to take this situation seriously and adhere to the shelter in place order.

“As a great majority of people with the virus show either mild or no symptoms, you need to expect that this virus is everywhere and that you are at risk any time you leave your home,” she continued. “Confirmed test results are not telling the whole story. If you must go out for essential business or essential activities, you must maintain your six-foot social distancing rules. Essential activities do not include many of the things we saw this past weekend, and we saw many groups of individuals grouped together in non-essential activities. We have all heard a lot about stores not enforcing the rules, which puts their employees and customers at risk. Please know we are working hard with these stores to make sure they understand how they should help to ensure that social distancing is maintained. But it’s every person’s individual responsibility to maintain social distancing.”

She emphasized that the case counts are just the confirmed cases and that there are many other cases in Dallas and Rockwall counties as well as Rowlett and neighboring communities that have not been counted because they have not been tested.

Dana-Bashian noted that although there have been 11 confirmed cases in Rowlett with four recoveries, there’s a total of 30 people in Rowlett that are under quarantine provisions, including the 11 cases. About half of those are in two households; nine households in Rowlett are currently under quarantine.

The city of Rowlett shelter in place order and local COVID-19 cases numbers can be found at www.ci.rowlett.tx.us.

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