Wichita Co. Judge Gossom issues shelter-in-place for entire county beginning Monday at 11:59 p.m.

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WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — UPDATE: The shelter-in-place order will begin Monday, March 30 at 11:59 p.m. and end following a subsequent order from Wichita County Judge Gossom.

“The danger we have in this community, the biggest danger is us. We believe it won’t happen to me, that’s not the case,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said.

Gossom stood on the steps of the Wichita County courthouse Sunday emphasizing why this isn’t to be taken lightly.

“This stuff is serious and what you’re thinking ‘okay i haven’t near any’ well you don’t know when you’re near somebody,” Gossom said. “We need one person going to the grocery store, take a list, go straight there, get what you need and come back home.”

Before the order, only two of five cities in the county were under shelter in place, hence why Gossom wanted to get the county all on the same page during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The outlying communities were like ‘well really it’s in Wichita Falls it’s not us’, I think when we had the three positives in one day and we had the incident in the Iowa Park clinic, everybody went ‘wait this is all of us’… We’re all in this quagmire together,” Gossom said.

There will be punishment for those who don’t follow the judge’s order. “Those of you who that try getting around it will be met with an officer handing you a ticket and a judge may fine you anywhere between one and $1,000. This is serious,” Gossom said.

Wichita County residents are encouraged to stay home for the time being, with no clear date on when the order will be lifted.

Gossom did say the Wichita County commissioners will be in close contact daily about next steps during this fast involving situation.

The order states non-essential business and operations must cease.

However, essential businesses, essential government service and critical infrastructure are strongly encouraged to stay open.

Gossom determines the following as essential activities, essential government functions, essential businesses, or essential travel:

  • Essential Activities
    • For health and safety
    • For necessary supplies and services
    • For outdoor activity
    • For certain types of work
    • To take care of others
  • Essential Gov’t Functions
    • All sworn Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services Personnel
    • Emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers
    • Court personnel, legal personnel, child protection and child welfare personnel
    • All military personnel, all personnel working for companies who perform under contract to the Department of Defense
    • All personnel working for companies who perform work under the contract to State or Federal Gov’t entities
    • Housing and shelter personnel
  • Essential Businesses
    • Healthcare operations
    • Stores that sell groceries and certain other essential supplies
      • essential supplies to not include the sale of grasses, plants, flowers or trees and these items are prohibited from being sold by any business
    • Food Cultivation
    • Social Services and charitable organizations
    • News Media
    • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
    • Financial institutions
    • Hardware and supply stores
    • Critical trades
      • plumbers, electricians, exterminators, pool cleaners and other material necessary
    • Mail and delivery services
    • Laundry services
    • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
    • Supplies to work from home
    • Supplies for essential businesses, critical infrastructure and essential gov’t functions
    • Food delivery services
    • Transportation
    • Home-based care and services
    • Residential facilities and shelters
    • Professional services
      • legal or accounting services
    • Real Estate Services
    • Lawn maintenance services
      • limited to the mowing of weeds and grass and to the emergency removal of trees or limbs that pose a risk
    • Car dealerships
      • may provide repairs and parts services
      • remain open only for individuals who need to purchase vehicles to perform essential functions and travel
    • Information Technology Services (IT)
    • Moving supply services
    • Hotels and Motels
    • Funeral, mortuary, cremation, burial, cemetery and related services
    • Educational institutions
    • Childcare facilities
      • must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer
      • children shall not change from one group to another
      • childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children
    • Golf courses
      • single players only with the use of powered or pulled carts with only one person allowed per cart
    • Plant nurseries and box stores
      • must be bought through virtual, telephonic or other electrical means
  • Essential Travel
    • Any travel related to essential activities, essential Gov’t functions, essential businesses, critical infrastructure or minimum basic operations
    • Travel to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, other vulnerable persons or pets
    • Travel to or from educational institutions to receive materials for distance learning, meals or any other related services
    • Travel to return from or to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction
    • Travel required by law enforcement or court order
    • Travel by church staff/clergy for the purpose of producing remote delivery or religious services
    • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the County

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — ORIGINAL STORY: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to call for stricter measures to prevent further spread, Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom announced a county-wide shelter-in-place in a press conference Sunday at 3 p.m.

The shelter-in-place order will begin Monday, March 30 at 11:59 p.m. and end following a subsequent order from the Wichita County Judge.

Gossom met reporters at the Wichita County Court House steps within an hour of making the initial call for the press conference.

This comes just two days after Wichita Falls officials enacted a shelter-in-place until April 8 at 1 p.m.

Commissioners Court will also have a meeting about COVID-19 procedures Monday night.

As of 3:30 p.m. Sunday, there are 587 people tested in Wichita County with 326 tests pending and 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

This story is breaking, so stay with Texoma’s Homepage as we work to gather more information.


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