Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain, in light of Wednesday’s news that two Cleburne residents have tested positive for COVID-19, issued a seventh set of guidelines in attempt to slow the virus’ spread.
Cain warned residents also to expect a spike in positive individuals in the weeks ahead.
City officials said both individuals and their families remain in self isolation in their homes.
Johnson County Emergency Management Director Jamie Moore said one is a 48-year-old female and the other a 33-year-old male. The victim’s names have not been released.
“State officials are expecting an exponential spike in positive test results over the next couple of weeks,” Cain said. “We’re in what they call the acceleration phase of the pandemic now and should expect up to 1,000 positives a day in Texas. We’ve been expecting that and the reason is that more people are being tested now and we’re seeing a larger number of results coming back. The next few weeks are going to be a very critical phase.
“We’ve been working to get the community ready for this new reality, which is now here. The main thing is not to panic and to know that we’ve been preparing for this. Also to stay home as much as possible and to cut out any non-essential trips outside the home.”
Cain earlier this week voiced concerns over the fact that, with many businesses now temporarily closed, too many residents are congregating and socializing in grocery stores. Cain at the time called upon residents to voluntarily cease such activities as well as other group congregations.
Such scofflaw behavior will no longer be permitted.
“I don’t like to be heavy handed,” Cain said. “But at the same time I’m not going to risk the lives of our other residents because some people are refusing to take this seriously and blowing these orders off.
“We’ve asked for voluntary compliance for days on these but now we’re going to have to make some things mandatory and anyone who still refuses to comply and take these seriously will be facing fines or jail time.”
Order No. 7 retains the guidelines of previous orders with a few changes to bring the guidelines into compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent orders.
The new order prohibits customers from retrieving shopping carts from the parking lot and requires grocers to post signs at parking lot cart gathering points instructing shoppers to only use sanitized carts collected at controlled entrance areas of the store.
The orders restrict grocery shopping to one person per household in the store at one time. Exceptions apply to those who are caretakers to disabled or elderly family members.
Previous rules still apply. Stores must provide sanitizer at all entry points and provide a process to wipe down and sanitize all grocery carts and baskets.
Social distancing of 6 feet apart must also be enforced and purchase of several items, including toilet paper, remains limited. A list of such limits must be posted at all store entry points.
More police will be present in stores to ensure compliance with the orders, Cain said.
Cain reiterated that residents need to stay home as much as possible and to maintain social distancing if they have to go out for essential needs.
“We don’t want people out there hanging out and ignoring the dangers of this,” Cain said. “If they do they may find themselves getting a new vacation in jail. This needs to be taken serious by everyone in order to help protect everyone.
“I don’t know if you’re aware of the [Skagit Valley Chorale members] in Washington State but they went ahead with their choir practice and 45 members have since tested positive for COVID-19 and two have died from it.
“We don’t want anything like that happening here, which is why we can no longer allow people to flaunt the rules and put others at risk.”