Image: Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, the “People’s Judge,” shown in his official office in the Sadler Administration Building in Conroe.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, April 17 – Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough and his Chief of Staff and Executive Emergency Management Director Jason Millsaps terminated the local shelter-in-place order as well as the order requiring a curfew from 12 midnight to 6 a.m., effective immediately. Keough’s orders arose under a local disaster declaration in response to the Chinese coronavirus, also known as the Wuhan virus or COVID-19.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s shelter-in-place and lockdown orders, however, remain in effect throughout the State of Texas.
Keough issued his shelter-in-place and curfew orders on Friday, March 27, 2020. The County Judge had previously issued several orders shutting down many local businesses. Those shut-down orders will largely remain in effect as a result of the slow manner in which Abbott is lifting the (questionably legal) restrictions he imposed.
Montgomery County currently has 263 active cases of Chinese coronavirus, 100 recoveries therefrom, and 7 deaths from the illness. Since the beginning of the lockdown and shut-down orders, Montgomery County has suffered more deaths from economically-motivated suicides than from the Chinese coronavirus disease.
In order to get Montgomery County residents and businesses back to work as quickly and as safely as possible, Keough issued an order immediately terminating the “Stay Home, Stop the Spread” order from March 27, according to an announcement from his office. This new order will end the curfew that was imposed immediately. Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-14 will expire April 30, 2020, and now controls.
Keough’s new order calls on all residents and businesses to follow new guidance, which President Donald Trump issued yesterday.
“After reaching our peak of COVID-19 cases earlier this week and in consultation with local health authorities and hospital executives, Montgomery County is continuing to see a slower rise in active cases than originally projected,” said Judge Keough. “With the slower progression of the virus among our population than originally projected, and with hospital utilization continuing to remain low, we can begin to open up sectors of our economy as early as the Governor allows,” Keough continued.
Today’s order adds additional local guidance for businesses and individuals so they can safely return to work across Montgomery County. These local guidelines are in step with federal and state guidelines recently issued. Additionally, the order continues restrictions on nursing homes and senior care facilities to ensure our vulnerable populations are protected moving forward.
The entirety of Judge Keough’s Order, dated April 17, 2020, follows: