Bell County Judge David Blackburn has issued a countywide shelter in place order.

At a press conference held at 4PM Monday, Blackburn said the order will go into effect at 11:59 PM tonight, and run through 11:59 PM April 3. It may be extended if officials believe it's circumstances warrant it.

UPDATE: Temple Mayor Tim Davis delivered an address via Facebook at 7:30 PM.

Residents are not being prohibited from leaving their homes. However, officials ask that residents remain home unless it is absolutely necessary that they be outside for essential activities and services.

"I want to underscore and highlight that we are not confining folks or requiring folks to be confined to their home for all purposes and all activities," he continued. "Essential activities, essential government functions, essential businesses all still need to continue to operate."

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Blackburn said all businesses not deemed essential under the order are required to cease activities at facilities located within Bell County. The order does not apply to people working from home.

Public gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited. Private gatherings are not prohibited, but are strongly discouraged.

Embedded below are PDF copies of the Stay Home Stay Safe addition to Bell County's Disaster Declaration, as well as information on identifying essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 response.

Note: Grocery stores will remain open, and restaurants will still be able to offer delivery, curbside to-go, and takeout options.

Local school districts who have been providing grab and go meal services will continue to do so under the order. This post contains a list of districts and pickup locations.


Essential businesses under the order include:

Below are JPG copies of each page of Bell County's shelter in place order. These are provided for users who are unable to view the embedded PDFs in their browsers or download them using the above buttons.

Bell County Shelter in Place Order March 23, 2020


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