Residents react to Richardson's shelter in place order

City Manager Dan Johnson spoke on the shelter in place order at the March 23 meeting. (Courtesy Citizen Information Television)
City Manager Dan Johnson spoke on the shelter in place order at the March 23 meeting. (Courtesy Citizen Information Television)

City Manager Dan Johnson spoke on the shelter in place order at the March 23 meeting. (Courtesy Citizen Information Television)

Members of the Richardson community are reacting on social media to news from earlier this week that the city has ordered residents to shelter in place until April 30.

Some wondered why it was necessary for Richardson to set its own rule when Dallas County already had a stay-at-home order in place.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said during press briefings that his authority to issue orders expires after one week, hence the need to reissue every seven days. At a March 23 briefing, he said he would extend the order until the medical community tells him it is no longer necessary.

“The estimate from the medical community is not two weeks, it’s months unfortunately,” Jenkins said. “I hope that turns out to be wrong.”

Experts have said they believe the pandemic will get worse before it gets better. Residents were quick to point out that the mayor not only has the ability to cut Richardson’s order short but can also extend it if necessary.

Collin County had not yet called for residents to shelter in place when Richardson City Council ratified its own order March 23. The next day, County Judge Chris Hill issued a stay-at-home order that restricted residents' ability to move about freely but allowed all businesses to remain open if they could follow federal health guidelines.

The disparity between county orders led some residents to wonder which one they should follow.

Some thought that having a citywide rule was a good way to eliminate inconsistencies between counties.

Others questioned whether “shelter in place” is an appropriate name for the order. Residents in Richardson may leave their homes only to perform tasks essential to health and safety, such as visiting the grocery store or pharmacy, going to work at an essential business, exercising outdoors, or caring for a family member or pet.

While inconvenient, many residents believed the order was necessary.

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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