On Tuesday, Collin County Judge Chris Hill issued a stay-at-home order for the entire county effective immediately. Under the directive, all residents were ordered to stay home except for travel related to essential activities.


Unlike a similar directive issued by Dallas County earlier this week, no additional businesses were required to close.


Instead, Hill has called upon business owners to practice social distancing and take other preventative measure to stop the spread of COVID-19.


Those businesses that remain open must adhere to Gov. Greg Abbott’s March 19 order that closed schools, curtailed dining at bars and restaurants, prohibited retirement home visits and limited public gatherings to 10 people.


“I want to make it clear that all businesses, all jobs and all workers are essential to the financial health of our local economy, and therefore they’re essential to the financial health and well-being of our Collin County citizens,” Hill said. “Persons who are employed need to stay employed.”


When making the order, Hill said he wanted to strike a balance between protecting the public from COVID-19 and protecting the economy.


It was a sentiment echoed by the city of Anna, which characterized Hill’s order not as a “stay-at-home” directive, but rather a “work safe order.”


“In summary, the order is no different from what we the City of Anna have previously asked of our community, which is to continue to practice vigilance in protecting yourselves and your neighbors by staying home if you are sick and when in public, practice good social-distancing techniques,” Mayor Nate Pike said. “We encourage all of neighbors to review CDC and federal health guidelines as posted on our website.”


Judge Hill’s order requires people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to stay home for at least 72 hours after they are fever-free without the aid of medication. They must also stay home for 14 days after the onset of other symptoms.


Family members of those who test positive for coronavirus are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. However, they are not prohibited from leaving home to seek necessary medical or emergency care.


Additionally, people who believe they are at greater risk or who think they have been compromised from exposure to COVID-19 are required to stay at home for the duration of the order.


As of Tuesday, Collin County has reported a total of 45 coronavirus cases. Among them was a 58-year-old Melissa man who had an underlying health condition. He was reported to be self-isolating out of state.


On March 18, Collin County health officials announced that a 54-year-old Anna woman with no underlying health conditions had also tested positive. She reportedly self-quarantined in her own home.


Also reportedly self-isolating was a 27-year-old Anna man who had recently traveled within the United States and did not report any pre-existing health conditions.