You Won’t Quit Hoarding Toilet Paper, So the County’s Going to Stop It

Buying up all the toilet paper is a thing of the past, said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, because people won’t stop hoarding it or reselling it.

Jenkins issued an amended public health emergency order March 21 that, among several things, limits shoppers to 12 rolls, or one package (if that package contains more than 12 rolls).

“A whole lot of us have to move from selfishness to sacrifice, and we have to stop taking everything on the shelf,” he said.

The amended order also closes all businesses that offer services that can’t be provided while maintaining a 6-foot distance, including massage parlors, nail and hair salons, barber shops, beauty salons, hair removal services, spas, tattoo and piercing parlors, and “all other non-medical, personal care services that cannot be provided while maintaining 6 feet of distance.”

The order also prohibits all elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures until the county lifts the order, which was enacted to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

“We need to protect the personal protection equipment, and the ventilators, for patients,” said Dallas County Health and Human Services director Philip Huang.¬†“We’re all trying to slow this spread down so that it protects our vulnerable populations and our health care.”

Still in place are the restrictions for recreational gatherings (10 people or fewer) and social gatherings like funerals and weddings (50 people or fewer), as well as carry-out and drive-through services only for restaurants.

How serious is Jenkins? He said tickets will be written at activities that don’t have the required 6-foot distance between people.

Jenkins said that he knows that all of the restrictions are creating economic hardships, but that he and other officials hope that by “flattening the curve,” the closures will be over sooner. He said they are also working with utility companies to stop cutoffs.

“You see these two big states – New York and California – have moved to shelter in place, and if we can’t change this curve, it looks like bigger chunks of this country will,” Jenkins said, adding that if that becomes the case, cutting off power to those who are required to stay home could stymie efforts to keep people at home.

Also on the table, the county judge said, is approaching the business community to help provide the things that are slow to arrive, like masks, personal protection equipment, and hand sanitizer, pointing out that Fiat and Jaguar are already doing so in their respective countries.

Bendt Distilleries in Lewisville, he said, is providing a large shipment of hand sanitizer it is producing instead of alcoholic beverages, and a Dallas ISD truck will pick it up Monday. It will be distributed to firstresponders.

Amended Order for March 21 2020 by PeopleNewspapersDallas on Scribd

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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