Shelter-in-Place issued to prevent further spread of Coronavirus


Laura Smith

Along with non-essential businesses, Canyon parks have been closed until further notice.

Canyon Mayor Gary Hinders issued a shelter-in-place March 30 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The order, following Gov. Abbott’s decisions, will last until Thursday, April 30 and will shut down all businesses considered non-essential. Likewise, citizens are asked not to leave their homes for non-essential reasons.

To further prevent community spread, Gov. Abbott has extended online learning until May 4. As this is a developing story, please continue to watch the CISD Website for more updates.

“Unless you’re needing to go out to get food or medical services, or if you are going directly to work in one of those essential businesses, you really need to stay home,” Hinders said. “But also, not touching your face, washing your hands, and people making sure their kids do that as well. It is essential that, if you’re sick or if you’re running a temperature, you’re staying at home and even away from family members as well.”

While the previous circumstances allowed for gatherings of 10 people or less, the new directive calls for no public gatherings at all.

“From an expert’s standpoint, the safe number is one,” Hinders said. “Anything above that allows for transmission to take place, so really at the end of the day, the safe number is one. And that’s hard; we aren’t used to that. On one hand, you’re talking about people’s health and people’s lives. On the other hand, you’re talking about people’s livelihoods, which includes their mental health and their economic health. So a lot of those decisions are difficult.” 

Junior Karlie Venhaus said it has been most difficult for her to stay at home instead of going out to do once normal activities, like going to the gym or even to church.

“My day-to-day activities might have taken the hardest hit,” Venhaus said. “I am actually starting to miss school. I especially miss my friends and even my teachers. Unfortunately, I do think it is necessary to keep us all healthy. As much as I hate not being able to go every day, I think the district is making the right decisions.”

Hinders said high school students also need to understand the seriousness of staying indoors and away from their friends.

“It’s important to know that they are as important as anybody else in our community to make sure they are doing these things right,” Hinders said. “We’re all susceptible to the virus. Their actions affect family, friends and neighbors as well.”

I hope all of our students will now stay home, stay safe, and help others stay safe.

— Laura Smith, teacher

Teacher Laura Smith said this is a time to separate our wants from our needs, and she hopes students will take the restrictions seriously.

“They don’t realize that people they know are at risk,” Smith said. “My mom is 83, and my sister has chronic health conditions that leave her with almost no immune system. That puts them at risk. I didn’t think I was at risk because I generally feel so healthy. I had to sit myself down and remind myself of my age, and that as a cancer survivor with some lung damage, I do have some risk.”

Research states that at as many as 25 percent of those infected with COVID-19 may not have any symptoms at all, Smith said.

“Just because you think you are fine does not mean you are fine,” Smith said. “You may be carrying COVID-19 to your friend or family member who is at risk. One of the most important benefits of this shelter in place is for people who are determined to get out because they think they are fine to stay at home and not be out infecting others. I hope all of our students will now stay home, stay safe, and help others stay safe.