Plans to get Collin County back in business from the coronavirus outbreak are in the works, according to county and state leaders.
Updates on reopening the county came after Congressman Van Taylor, along with other state representatives and Collin County officials, held a telephone town hall April 9.
Collin County Judge Chris Hill said the county is coordinating with Gov. Greg Abbott to figure out when the state’s stay-at-home order will be lifted.
“We are already looking down the road, once it’s safe, to lift those orders so that we have an adequate plan to roll back into a soft opening of our businesses and of our economy,” Hill said.
Until then, residents continuing to stay at home and work safely is the county’s priority, he said.
Several industries and businesses in Texas are eager and gearing up for their return as well, State Sen. Angela Paxton said.
“When you look at a public health crisis, the single greatest need that we have is to get the economy going again,” Paxton said.
A county resident phoned in to ask when elective surgeries will be available again; Collin County epidemiologist Grace Powers said there is not an essential and nonessential list for surgeries to serve as a guideline.
“We defer to the doctor to determine if it’s safe to have that surgery now,” she said.
Availability of personal protective equipment and staff time are common factors for if an elective surgery is performed, Powers said.
Texas’ runoff election was postponed to July 14 as a result of coronavirus, and Paxton said the Texas Secretary of State's Office is expecting an increased number of mail-in ballots as more people are concerned about their health.
But under state law, Paxton said mail-in ballots can only be given to individuals who meet certain criteria, such as if a voter is away from their county, if they are sick or disabled, if they are over 65 or if they are confined in jail.
Paxton said the definition of disabled is “fairly broad” under the Texas election code. As such, county elections administrators are currently working to ensure there are enough mail-in ballots available for the election, she said.
“I think we’re going to see an increased number of people who have a concern about their medical condition or their health under these circumstances, and [I think] that our elections administrators are [going to be] allowed to look at the disabled eligibility records in a broader way,” Paxton said.
Collin County, state leaders prepping for county reopening after coronavirus
State Sen. Angela Paxton said getting the economy going again is the greatest need as a result of the public health crisis. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)