Collin County

Collin County Judge Chris Hill Rescinds COVID-19 Disaster Declaration

NBC 5 News

Collin County Judge Chris Hill says he's rescinded the COVID-19 disaster declaration he put in place last March at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

In an email Friday, Hill announced the declaration had been rescinded and said "constitutionally protected rights do not cease to exist in the midst of a crisis."

He added, "there are no county-issued emergency orders, forced closures, or government mandates in Collin County."

There are still, however, the statewide orders put in place by Gov. Greg Abbott which superseded any order put out by the counties anyway.

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Abbott said earlier this week that he may soon have an announcement related to his ongoing executive orders, but so far he has not said when those directives may be modified or removed.

One of the factors the governor is likely considering is the hospitalization rate of people infected with COVID-19. While the number of people currently hospitalized for coronavirus is still relatively high at roughly 6,700 patients, it's just under half what it was at its peak six weeks ago.

The percentage of patients hospitalized in Collin County has been hovering around 10%, below the 15% threshold for enhanced restrictions outlined in Abbott's GA-32.

Collin County, which is part of TSA-E, was under enhanced restrictions from early Dec. 3 until Feb. 16 when the area dropped below 15% hospitalization for a seventh consecutive day -- the condition outlined by the governor for the easing of restrictions.

The hospitalization rate in TSA-E on Feb. 24, the most recent day of reporting, was 10.6%, well below the high of 27% recorded in early January.

From March 2020 through Thursday, 712 people in Collin County have died after contracting the virus; more than 82,000 cases have been reported along with 68,000 estimated recoveries leaving an estimated 13,000 active cases, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

This week, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, citing that a state of disaster continues to exist due to the continued spread of COVID-19, extended this disaster order in his county until May 25.

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