CORYELL COUNTY, Texas – In a part of their disaster declaration due to COVID-19, Coryell County announced they will try to keep residents in the county and keep people from traveling to it.
People will be able to travel into the county only to work at essential businesses or if they need immediate medical attention. Gatesville’s Richard DeYoung thinks it might be an overreaction.
“I know we are in a public health emergency, and that trumps everything,” DeYoung said. “We can not continue to completely shut down our total economy in order to preserve all life.”
Coryell County has reported 18 positive COVID-19 cases, a far cry from neighboring counties like McLennan (68) and Bell (84).
DeYoung thinks Coryell’s rural communities make the difference.
“I’m sure it makes perfect sense in some areas and for some people,” DeYoung said. “I’m not sure it makes sense for people who live on a 650-acre ranch out west of town. That doesn’t seem to make the same sense to me.”
DeYoung says he has even seen changes in the way people act towards each other, a trend he fears might be here to stay.
“Prior to this, you would say hello to people and you could talk to them,” DeYoung said. “Now everyone maintains their safe distance, they don’t talk to each other, they just walk by each other.”
Gatesville has also eliminated visitation to their prisons, and the Murray Unit has put their inmates on lockdown.