Collin County representatives address stay-at-home order, update public on efforts to obtain more masks during telephone town hall

Van Taylor was joined by Collin County Judge Chris Hill, state representatives Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen and county public health officials at the March 24 coronavirus town hall. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Van Taylor was joined by Collin County Judge Chris Hill, state representatives Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen and county public health officials at the March 24 coronavirus town hall. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Van Taylor was joined by Collin County Judge Chris Hill, state representatives Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen and county public health officials at the March 24 coronavirus town hall. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Collin County leaders discussed essential businesses, worker resources and hospital needs as part of a March 24 telephone town hall by Congressman Van Taylor.

Taylor was joined by Collin County Judge Chris Hill, state representatives Jeff Leach and Matt Shaheen, and county public health officials to take resident questions about coronavirus.

This comes on the same day that Collin County issued a stay-at-home order, which encourages businesses to remain open if they can follow federal health guidelines for social distancing and prevent gatherings of less than 10 people.

“We want to make it absolutely clear that across all levels of government, our primary objective is to protect the physical health and well-being of our Collin County citizens,” Hill said during the town hall.

Essential businesses

Collin County’s stay-at-home order is different from those in nearby Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties since it does not deem certain businesses as essential or nonessential.

“We’ve taken a different approach here in Collin County because we recognize that every job is essential to somebody,” Hill said. “If you can perform your job or if you can conduct your business in a way that protects the public health and prevents the spread of COVID-19, then we would like you to stay open.”

Hill said he believes businesses who are deemed essential by other counties may continue operations without following proper health guidelines.

“It might be even more dangerous if a business looks at the list and says ‘oh, I’m on the list, I can stay open,’ especially if that particular business is not able to practice social distancing in their business format,” Hill said.

Hill said he and fellow Dallas, Denton and Tarrant county judges are trying to keep residents healthy, but Collin County is addressing its stay-at-home order differently.

“If you can follow the guidelines and still work, then you can stay open,” he said. “If you can’t follow the guidelines, you can’t stay open—regardless of what list you’re on.”

What is being done for workers

A resident phoned in asking about what is being done to help workers through this crisis. Taylor said legislation is currently in the works to benefit workers. He hinted specifically at legislation that would make collecting unemployment easier.

“It hasn’t passed yet, hasn’t been signed,” Taylor said.

State representative Shaheen said those with questions about collecting unemployment should visit the Texas Workforce Commission’s website or send an email to his office at

Overcoming this crisis as quickly as possible is the best way to help workers who are struggling, state representative Leach said.

“The best thing that all of us can do no—matter where you live, what job you have, where your kids go to school—for workers in this county, for our economy, is to get this crisis behind us,” he said. “The way that we’re going to do that is to follow the guidelines from our health experts every day.”

Protective supplies and hospital materials

Shaheen said a task force organized by Gov. Greg Abbott is working to increase the number of respirators and masks in Texas.

“We’re at a point now that the state of Texas is actually receiving over 100,000 masks a day,” Shaheen said. “And our expectation is that that number is going to continue to grow by next week, and we’ll start receiving about a million per week.”

However, hospital resources needed to address coronavirus are critically low in Texas, said Taylor Burton, Collin County public health emergency preparedness coordinator.

Texas hospitals are receiving guidance on how to make materials last as long as possible, Burton said. Hospitals can contact their city’s emergency management agency once they are critically low on materials to receive more from the state.

“We absolutely hope we get those respirators and other things,” she said. “They’re filling those [needs] as quickly as they can."
By Elizabeth Ucles
Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


As of Nov. 30, patients confirmed to have COVID-19 filled 16.1% of hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E, which includes Collin, Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties among others. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
North Texas hovers above key COVID-19 hospitalization threshold as further restrictions loom

North Texas businesses could face additional restrictions—including the closure of some bars—if area hospitals do not see a reversal in the number of COVID-19 patients within a matter of days.

Meals on Wheels Collin County expects to serve about 300,000 meals to homebound seniors and disabled adults throughout the county during 2020. (Courtesy Meals on Wheels Collin County)
Meals on Wheels expects to serve 300K meals in Collin County this year

Meals on Wheels Collin County is on pace to provide 300,000 meals this year to nearly 2,000 seniors.

Artio Birth Care opened in October at 614 S. Edmonds Lane, Ste. 205, Lewisville. The education center offers classes and groups for people preparing for childbirth. (Courtesy Artio Birth Care)
Artio Birth Care opens in Lewisville, plus 7 more DFW business updates

Here are eight recent business updates from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

COVID-19 patients occupy around 15% and 10% of hospital beds in Denton County and Collin County, respectively. (Community Impact staff)
Denton County COVID-19 hospitalizations hit 15% of beds; Collin County approaches 10%

For the fourth day in a row, COVID-19 patients have occupied at least 15% of hospital beds across Denton County.

D'Ambrosio's #1 Pizza Pub will offer customers a friendly environment to enjoy a more contemporary style of Chicago deep-dish pizza. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
D'Ambrosio's pizzeria opens in Grapevine and more DFW news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

99 Ranch Market has teamed up with Instacart to offer rapid grocery delivery services at stores nationwide. (Courtesy 99 Ranch Market)
99 Ranch Market in Frisco now delivering with Instacart

99 Ranch Market is now offering direct delivery from the store via Instacart.

The Omni PGA Frisco Resort is scheduled to open in spring 2023. (Courtesy Omni PGA Frisco Resort)
BEYOND THE GAME: PGA Frisco creating destination 'whether you're a golfer or not'

While the new Professional Golfers Association of America development in Frisco aims to make the city the home of golf in America, it will also have appeal for those unfamiliar with birdies, bogeys and mulligans.

The food hall adjacent to the Frisco Fresh Market will open in early 2021. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
Food hall coming to Frisco in 2021 set to be ‘pandemic-proof’

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said the project will be “a big win for the city” and that it will tie the downtown, Frisco Square and The Rail District areas into one large entertainment district.

The $8.5 million sales tax allocation Frisco received in November was more than a 4% increase as compared to the same month a year ago. (Community Impact staff)
DATA: Frisco's latest monthly sales tax revenue up more than 4% year over year

The $8.57 million sales tax allocation for Frisco was based generally on purchases in September, the Texas State Comptroller’s Office reported Nov. 12.

The Christmas in the Square event features the largest choreographed lights and music display in North Texas. (Courtesy Visit Frisco)
TO-DO LIST: Here are 10 in-person and virtual events happening in Frisco

Here is a list of some ongoing and upcoming events taking place in Frisco and online over the next several weeks.

Tarot & Tea's sage bundles are now available at its shop inside Stonebriar Centre. (Courtesy Tarot & Tea)
Tarot & Tea opens inside Frisco's Stonebriar Centre mall

The shop offers tarot readings, intention candles, sage bundles, oils and incense.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.