Health department enforcing stay-at-home order for businesses still open in Dallas County

There’s a ground campaign in Dallas County to enforce its stay-at-home order.

Representatives from the health department are going block by block in neighborhoods with the most COVID-19 cases to make sure only essential businesses are open. They’re also offering advice to business owners on how to stay safe.

The campaign is as much about enforcement as it is community outreach and educating businesses that are open about how to keep employees and customers from spreading the disease.

75227 in Pleasant Grove is one of two zip codes with the most COVID-19 cases in Dallas County.

Marisa Gonzales and Armando Martinez went door to door with their faces covered and armed with potentially lifesaving information. They are part of a Dallas County Health and Human Services Community Outreach Team spot-checking local businesses.

“We are finding a lot of businesses that are considered non-essential are open,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales says they talk to those business owners and report them to code enforcement which can issue tickets. He admits keeping up is a challenge.

“We could recommend them closing one day. But then the next week, they are open again,” she said.

Gonzales says it’s mostly community education and questions about how to extra precautions.

“I was telling her it would be good if there was marking on the floors so people can maintain their distance,” Martinez said.

Greedy Grove Smoke Shop, which also sells food and other products like a convenience store, is now clearly marked. Otherwise, it would not be essential.

“They came out last Thursday, I believe, to check and tell us to put up signs,” said Tristan Malone with the smoke shop.

“Not only are you protecting yourself and your family, but you are protecting your community,” Gonzales said. “And that’s what we want.”

Gonzales says they plan to keep going business to business until the order expires.