Grayson County commissioners Tuesday continued the county’s disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The revised declaration will last until the commissioners court’s next meeting on April 7.
Grayson County Judge Bill Magers said the declaration’s only changes are that they incorporated the measures Governor Greg Abbott put in place over the weekend that required a 14-day quarantine for the road travelers arriving in Texas from the entire state of Louisiana. The governor had previously set those restricts for people arriving from New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition, the governor added to the order mandating self quarantine for travelers arriving in Texas from entire states of California and Washington and from Altanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; and Miami, Florida.
A second executive order released by the Governor drew comment Tuesday from Grayson County Sheriff Tom Watt.
Executive Order (GA-13) prohibited the release of individuals in custody for or with a history of offenses involving physical violence or the threat of physical violence. Watt told commissioners the Governor’s guidelines in regard to releasing violent offenders came about because a judge in Harris County released a murder suspect on a personal recognizance bond according to an article in the Houston Chronicle.
"In my view, this is outrageous. The members of the Criminal Justice Team in Grayson County have exercised due caution, with Community safety and security in the forefront of every decision to release someone on a PR Bond. No violent offenders have been released, or even considered for release from the Grayson County Jail," Watt said in a written statement after the meeting.
"In partnership with all the Judges of Grayson County as well as the District Attorney’s Office, we’ve taken a proactive, common-sense approach to create bed space in a jail that is already tight on space. The bottom line is we don’t have space to do much of anything when the bad thing happens (COVID-19 getting into the jail). I’m proud of the cooperation we’ve received in trying to deal with the very tough situation of properly taking care of 101 employees (in the jail) as well as 321 inmates that deserve the best we can give them."
Commissioners also authorized the $577,351. to Texas Association of Counties for Health/Dental Insurance and approved the City-County Agreement for the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction of the city of Tioga.
County leaders also approved a request for the preliminary plat of Lots 1-12, Block A and Lots 1-12 Block B, Palisades Addition Phase IV in Precinct 4.
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