Waco City Council extends shelter-in-place order for second time

The shelter-in-place order for Waco-McLennan County has been extended through the end of April. Brittney Matthews | Multimedia Editor

By Matthew Muir | Staff Writer

The Waco City Council extended its shelter-in-place order Tuesday to carry through April 30. The order was previously set to expire April 21.

The extension ensures Waco’s shelter-in-place will cross the one-month threshold. Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver’s initial order took effect March 24.

A Facebook statement from the City of Waco announcing the extension said all citizens should “continue to be safe and practice social distancing.”

Under the order, Waco has not experienced the exponential growth in cases seen in epicenters of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District reported two new cases Tuesday, bringing the total count up to 74. Of these, 48 cases resulted in the patient recovering. 23 are active with four people currently hospitalized. 90 people are being monitored for symptoms.

The city confirmed its third death from the virus Monday, 61-year-old Taro Johnson, who was found dead in his apartment Wednesday. Johnson’s death was subsequently investigated for ties to the virus and autopsy results delivered to local officials Sunday confirmed Johnson tested positive for COVID-19. The death of a 69-year-old man in a local hospital from COVID-19 was confirmed Thursday.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District recommends anyone who suspects they may be suffering from COVID-19 self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider for screening. The Public Health District also offers an online screening tool from Apple and the CDC. Testing must be ordered by a physician, and so far more than 700 people in the county have been tested for the virus.

The City of Waco has also continued its public information campaign urging residents to stay home and practice social distancing. The city enlisted the help of the Waco Fire Department and Waco Police Department to produce videos asking residents to obey the shelter in place order and practice appropriate social distancing measures.