Offices of County Judge, Emergency Management Issue Public Service Announcement

Public Service Announcement (PSA) is being brought to you Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison and the Office of Emergency Management.

March 20, 2020 - First and foremost, I would like to thank the citizens of Shelby County for their response to the current health crisis. I am so proud of our businesses, industries, county and city governments, health associates and everyone who is working together to keep our County safe. I especially want to thank the businesses that supply groceries, medicine, and fuel to the public. With your continued efforts, we will keep everyone in Shelby County, safe, nourished, and virus free. 

As of this morning, Shelby County has no reported COVID-19 cases. At this time I am issuing a Declaration of a Local State of Disaster Due to a Public Health Emergency. Again, we have no reported cases in the County; however, this Declaration is to reinforce Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders within our County.

The Declaration will also activate our Emergency Management Plan, so if we need State and Federal Assistance we will have the necessary documentation in place to request and receive such assistance.

All County Offices will be closed to the public, as of Monday, March 23. The offices will be staffed and you will be admitted on an as needed basis. If you would like to make an appointment with any office or official, all contact information has been shared with all media outlets and posted on the front of the offices. 

Shelby County is at a pivotal moment in our response to COVID-19. At this time, there are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Shelby County or in our surrounding counties. The statewide confirmed case count has risen to 194 with 5 deaths being reported and over 5,000 having been tested.

The most effective way to prevent the spread of this virus is by promoting social distancing. Shelby County businesses, schools, churches and organizations have been extremely proactive early on by either cancelling and/or postponing events or offering alternative methods of delivering services and are to be commended for their efforts in their preemptive measures.

Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, issued executive orders yesterday in accordance with federal guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The components of the executive order that directly affects the citizens of our county include:

  • Avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pick-up, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of the executive order.
  • Avoid visiting gyms or massage parlors.
  • People shall not visit nursing homes, retirement, or long term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Schools shall temporarily close.

These orders will be effective on a statewide basis beginning at 11:59 PM Friday March, 20th, 2020 and will remain in effect until 11:59 PM on Friday April, 3rd, 2020 and subject to extension based on the status of COVID-19 and recommendations of the CDC.

As a result of the statewide disaster declaration by Governor Abbott on March 13th and these recent executive orders issued by the Governor, Shelby County will file the necessary paperwork to the state of a Local Disaster Declaration. This is only a precautionary move to assist with any actions that need to be taken at a later date.

I ask everyone to remain calm but vigilant; our ultimate goal is to make sure Shelby County does their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Again, I want to thank our citizens and all of our partners within the county, together we will weather this storm and be stronger because of it.

Thank you,
Allison Harbison – Shelby County Judge/Emergency Management Director
Kerri Shofner – Shelby County Emergency Management Coordinator