By Sarah Pinkerton | Staff Writer
Mclennan County followed in Dallas’ footsteps Monday as Mayor Kyle Deaver issued a “shelter-in-place” order for Waco residents that limits travel outside of the home to essential-travel only beginning at 11:59 p.m. and extending through at least April 7th.
Businesses that are labeled as “non-essential” will be shut down and individuals may only leave their home for necessary trips to the grocery store, pharmacy or for healthcare.
Anyone in violation of this order will be issued a Class C Misdemeanor.
However, in a press release put out today by the Waco Transit System, the system will still allow up to ten people on each vehicle at once.
“In order to assist WTS in this effort, we ask that passengers practice social distancing by utilizing seats that do not have a sign indicating “seat unavailable” on them,” the release said.
Baylor also released a statement today about how this “shelter-in-place” order will impact Baylor students and those who remain on campus.
President Linda Livingstone said that all university offices are now closed and access to buildings is limited to a card swipe for students, faculty and staff. Most faculty members are now working from home and students are advised not to return to Waco.
“Critical aspects of our business operations considered essential under the City of Waco Shelter in Place order will continue,” Livingstone said. “These include: health services, food services that are available to-go, emergency responders, public safety, mail services, residence halls, janitorial and maintenance services, technology support, financial services and scientific research. Again, please contact your supervisor for information regarding any required on-campus staffing.”
Livingstone also said that any ongoing research is encouraged to continue if it can be done remotely. Essential laboratory operations are permitted if within the 6-feet social distancing rule.
Residence halls will stay open for those permitted and Penland Crossroads Dining Hall will remain open for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a “to-go” style only.
Frisco sophomore Victoria Rhodes, community leader in Earle Hall said that she is glad something is being done regarding the circumstances as she remains on campus and is required to comply with the “shelter-in-place” order.
“The people definitely make up the vibe of campus so campus is sad and dreary without everyone here,” Rhodes said.
The Student Health Services in the McLane Student Life Center will also be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, the Counseling Center will only be available through technology connections until the end of the semester.
On-campus libraries will also be closed and library personnel will be digitizing resources to support online teaching which can be accessed online.
The Store at Baylor, a food pantry for students in the Sid Richardson Building, has released a statement encouraging students to visit their location in order to obtain the certain necessities during this time. They are open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Store takes money donations here.
“We recognize that this situation changes each day, and we appreciate your understanding and adherence to these important directions,” Livingstone said. “We ask that the campus community prepare for continued disruption and teleworking procedures at least through April 7th.”