The Anna City Council unanimously approved a stay-at-home order March 26 in response to growing coronavirus concerns.


On April 1 the city had four reported cases of COVID-19 so far.


The decision to issue a stay-at-home order came on the heels of Anna’s third confirmed case.


On March 25, Collin County health officials announced that a 64-year-old Anna woman with underlying health conditions had been hospitalized due to COVID-19.


In response, the city council held an emergency meeting to consider additional action.


The meeting was streamed live on Facebook since social distancing requirements all but eliminated spectator seating.


"When you look at the numbers of this, what alarms me is the potential of the unknown," Mayor Nate Pike said at the start of the meeting. "We have no control over what the unknown is, but we do have the responsibility as elected officials to do everything in our power to both educate and protect our citizens at all costs."


The order was a departure from Collin County’s stay-at-home order that was announced March 24, which deemed all businesses essential.


Anna’s order distinguishes between essential and nonessential businesses. Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open.


Judge Chris Hill rescinded the county’s order March 31 following the announcement of an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott.


The governor’s statewide directive is similar to Anna’s order in that it distinguishes between essential and nonessential businesses.


Now, only essential businesses statewide are allowed to remain open.


In Anna, all residents are asked to work from home as much as possible. People are still allowed to go out for groceries, visit the doctor and help care for family members or pets at another house.


Among those businesses classified as nonessential are retailers including furniture, clothing, shoe, jewelry, gift and floral stores.


Also shuttered are gyms and fitness facilities, hair, nail and tanning salons; massage parlors and spas; body-art studios and tattoo parlors. These establishments must remain closed through the duration of the order.


Restaurants can only remain open for take-out and delivery orders.


Essential workers include healthcare professionals, gas station and auto- repair shop employees, sanitation workers, essential infrastructure workers, and property and professional services workers.


Businesses that remain open are required to adhere to stricter cleaning requirements.


Anna residents are specifically prohibited from entering truck stops and travel centers located on or near U.S. 75 unless they are employees or have essential business there. The facilities will remain open to truck drivers.


The city is authorized to enforce the measure and levy fines up to $1,000 per violation.


Mayor Pike said the order is intended to both educate the public and demonstrate how seriously the city is taking the growing pandemic.


The additional restrictions will remain in place through at least April 14, unless the mayor rescinds them earlier.


Any extension would require city council approval.


Actions taken by the federal, state or county governments could also supersede the local ordinance.


A copy of Anna’s updated emergency declaration, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, can be found on the city’s official website, annatexas.gov.


One issue left unresolved following the meeting is the status of the city’s May 2 election.


Gov. Greg Abbott has recommended a postponement of elections scheduled for that day.


However, one item on the ballot in Anna is a City Council special election to fill a vacated seat.


The Texas constitution states that elections to fill open council seats must be held within 120 days. This has left city leaders unsure if they can legally postpone the election.


At this point, based on the advice of legal counsel, the city of Anna has taken the position that the election should be held as scheduled, noting that voting qualifies as an essential government function.