FORNEY, Texas — UPDATE [Last update 5:07 p.m.] — The Forney City Council unanimously approved a two-week Shelter in Place order for all residents of the City of Forney.
The order will be effective at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, until 11:59 p.m. on April 8, 2020.
The order states all residents must take shelter within their residence with certain exclusions for essential activities and businesses. Businesses deemed non-essential may also seek an exclusion from the order.
Residents who work at non-essential businesses out of the city limits or within areas not under a shelter-in-place may leave their residence.
Residents conducting essential activities, essential businesses, or those exempt, should comply with social distancing guidelines during operation or performance of those essential activities.
A complete copy of the City of Forney's Extension of Declaration of Disaster and Order:
Mayor Penn’s Statement Regarding Shelter in Place Order:
"In the City of Forney, we believe it is important to be proactive in supporting public health restrictions while finding ways to keep essential services and businesses operating. We continue to try to balance the competing interests of this public health crisis and the economical and other consequences of imposing restrictions.
We are extremely sympathetic to our small business owners and everyone depending upon their jobs to pay bills and put food on their family’s tables. This why we have made the restrictions of our order as broad as possible and are allowing businesses to apply for a waiver.
The City of Forney is very close to the Dallas-Kaufman County line. Many members of our community frequently travel into Dallas County. Dallas County has the greatest concentration of known cases in Texas. In all likelihood, there are probably people who are infected in Forney but have not been tested. This order is the next, logical proactive step to protect the citizens and public servants of the City of Forney.
We appreciate all Forney citizens, business owners, and workers for doing their part to beat COVID-19. We will get through this together. City Staff will be very responsive to questions and requests for waivers submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or called in to one of the City’s information lines.
The entire declaration from today’s City Council meeting can be found on the City’s website, along with the most up to date information concerning COVID-19 (Coronavirus). For more information visit www.forneytx.gov/covid19."
ORIGINAL [12:26 p.m.] — The City of Forney will consider a shelter in place order during an emergency-called meeting of the city council on Monday afternoon.
Forney Mayor Mary Penn called the special emergency meeting, which will be held at 3 p.m., on Monday, March 23, 2020, at City Hall, located at 101 Main Street.
The sole discussion and action item on the agenda is to discuss and consider action on the extension of a Declaration of Disaster and Public Health Emergency previously issued by Penn on March 20, 2020, and issuing a Shelter in Place Order under the authority of Section 418.108 of the Texas Government Code.
"We will be utilizing as many social distancing practices as possible," read a statement from the City of Forney.
The following "Emergency Statement" was attached to the agenda: "With the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration in the State of Texas and proclamation of waiver of the provisions of the Texas Elections Code, an unforeseeable situation has been created that requires immediate action by the City of Forney in order to consider specific disaster regulations. (Tex. Gov’t Code §551.045). Recommendations of the CDC regarding social distancing will be practiced during the course of the public meeting."
Yesterday, Dallas County became the first local governmental body in the state of Texas to issue a Stay at Home order for its residents — limiting any travel outside of a residence to activities and work designated under the order as essential. As of the last update on March 22, 2020, Dallas County was reporting 131 positive cases of COVID-19 and two COVID-19-realted deaths.
Earlier this morning, Hunt County, which has zero positive cases of COVID-19, issued a similar Stay at Home order as Dallas County.
As of Monday morning, Kaufman County has zero confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, according to Kaufman County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Howie confirmed to inForney.com.
This is a developing story.