Senator Nichols asks cities and counties to refrain from implementing Shelter in Place ordinances

Published 3:56 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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PRESS RELEASE — Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  That’s what Texans and Texas businesses must do now more than ever during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Studies have shown that social distancing has proven to be a successful tool in preventing the spread of this virus. I believe that businesses who are able to allow their employees to work from home should continue to do so. We should all be doing our part to prevent the spread of this virus.

However, not all businesses have this luxury and many across the state have been forced to lay off employees, or close their doors with very little hope they will be able to reopen again when this virus passes. This means that many Texans are not able to pay their bills, or buy groceries for their families. These businesses are the lifeblood of our state. They employ our friends and family, deliver essential goods and services and provide a tax base for critical services like our first responders. Those businesses which are able to implement social distancing and best practices should not be forced to close their doors.

We have already taken diligent measures to help prevent the spread of this virus and flatten the curve by closing schools and colleges, and prohibiting social gatherings more than 10 such as at churches, theaters and sporting events.

Before implementing a shelter in place ordinance, I would ask cities and counties to consider a measured and targeted data driven response based on the number of cases and their locations. All while taking into consideration the local workforce and allowing the last remaining local businesses, which are providing services to our local communities, to remain open as they adhere to best practices for preventing the spread of this virus.

Texas is strong and we will remain so, however, to do this we must make sure we are supporting our local economies ensuring Texans are able to support themselves, their employees and their families.