Collin County judge rescinds order defining all business as essential after governor issues statewide guidelines

Collin County Judge Chris Hill rescinded his order that urged residents to stay home except for travel related to essential activities and defined all business as essential. (Courtesy Collin County)
Collin County Judge Chris Hill rescinded his order that urged residents to stay home except for travel related to essential activities and defined all business as essential. (Courtesy Collin County)

Collin County Judge Chris Hill rescinded his order that urged residents to stay home except for travel related to essential activities and defined all business as essential. (Courtesy Collin County)

Collin County’s top elected official has withdrawn his stay-at-home order that defined all business as essential after the Texas governor announced a statewide set of guidelines defining classes of essential business.

County Judge Chris Hill on March 31 rescinded last week’s order, which urged residents to stay home except for travel related to essential activities.

The county order’s broad definition of which businesses were essential spurred cities to announce or consider a number of more restrictive municipal orders throughout Collin County. It also led to a lawsuit attempting to stop one of those city-level orders, arguing the policy in McKinney conflicted with the county's.

Hill’s latest decision cited Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order announced earlier March 31, which requires residents to “minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact” outside their own household.

The governor exempted essential services from this rule, which includes health care, groceries, utilities, government, finances and child care for essential employees, among others.


Hill did not immediately return a phone call April 1 requesting comment.

The rescinded executive order leaves Collin County residents under restrictions from the state and their municipal governments, which have prompted closures of some schools, public facilities and businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
By Daniel Houston
Daniel Houston covers Plano city government, transportation, business and education for Community Impact Newspaper. A Fort Worth native and Baylor University graduate, Daniel reported previously for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City and The Dallas Morning News.


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