coronavirus

Collin County Judge Rescinds Order Declaring All Businesses ‘Essential'

A McKinney realtor sued the city because its orders conflicted with more lenient measures instituted by Collin County

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"What businesses are essential?"

For the last week, Collin County residents have debated that question as many shops and businesses stayed opened.

On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott (R) gave his answer, providing a list of essential services, and told Texans if they did not work for one to stay home.

“Now is the time to redouble our efforts to do more to rid ourselves of the coronavirus,” Abbott said.

That declaration came a week after Collin County Judge Chris Hill told residents “all business are essential,” sparking controversy and confusion for some after failing to issue restrictions similar to surrounding communities.

The move prompted the city of McKinney to pass its own shelter-in-place order, ordering the closure of all non-essential businesses, and Frisco announced, since their city stretches into two counties, it would follow Denton County’s more restrictive orders.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Collin County Judge Chris Hill said “Collin County is currently reviewing Governor Abbott’s new Executive Order (GA-14), and will provide additional guidance as soon as possible.”

Tuesday evening, Hill rescinded the order allowing all non-essential businesses to close.

It is just the latest twist in the county’s ongoing saga over stay-at-home orders.

Tuesday, Collin County District Judge Jill Willis ruled McKinney’s shelter-in-place order could remain after a realtor filed a lawsuit against the McKinney mayor, stating his orders conflicted with the county’s looser policy.

Willis denied the plaintiff’s request for a temporary restraining order, allowing McKinney’s shelter-in-place order to remain while the realtor pursues his lawsuit. Following the judge’s decision, realtor Derek Baker said he would not move forward with his lawsuit.

McKinney Mayor George Fuller, whose daughter tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering at home, said he was pleased with the judge’s decision.

“[The] health and well-being of the community is what I’ve been fighting for from day one,” Fuller said. “I want everyone to know that we have this [declaration] in place and it will remain in place but only as long as it has to be.”

NBC 5's Meredith Yeomans contributed to this report.

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