Williamson County officials called for a stay-at-home order during a March 24 press conference.
The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. March 24 through 11:59 p.m. April 13, County Judge Bill Gravell said.
"The coronavirus knows no boundaries," Gravell said. "So we must as community come together and work together collaboratively."
Williamson County is asking all residents to stay home and stay safe with only essential businesses and activities taking place outside residences. Essential businesses include grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, carry-out or delivery restaurants, hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, veterinary offices and other healthcare service facilities, childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to continue functioning, gas stations and auto repair facilities, and banks and financial institutions.
The order also states that nonessential businesses should also cease activities but may continue operations as long as all employees or contractors are doing their work from his or her residence.
"We're really asking for Central Texas to do is to come together and work as a region to care for those that are around us," Gravell said.
Prohibited activities include all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or dwelling unit . All travel including travel on foot, bicycle, scooters and public transit are prohibited unless for the purpose for essential activities. Officials recommended that people still go for walks or jogs outside but limit to solo activities. If he or she must interact with someone, he or she should keep at least six feet of distance, officials said.
"As you may know, eight of the 10 deaths in the United States have been in persons over the age of 65," Williamson County Health Authority Dr. Lori Palazzo said. "In Williamson County, we have 74,000 residents who fit into this category. Our goal is to protect all our residents, but especially this vulnerable population."
The decision is in lock step with Travis County, south of Williamson, and the city of Austin which too called for a stay-at-home approach on March 24.
Central Texas officials said they are working to reduce the spread of the virus by minimizing social interactions by 90%.
Read the full order here: