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Pawn shops, liquor stores, law offices considered 'essential business' in Bell County

Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 19:40:57-04

BELL COUNTY, TX — Officials have extended the Bell County stay-at-home order requiring everyone to shelter in place, except for certain essential activities.

But what exactly is an essential business?

Scott Mccommas with B&K Pawn said after the county's shelter-in-place order, they had to fight to stay open.

"Code Enforcement came to try to make us shutdown and so we had a little bit of a fight talking to several people," said Mccommas.

While many businesses are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pawn shops are considered an essential business and can remain open, according to Bell County's "Stay Home Stay Safe" Directive #4.

"Our first customer came in to get money for diapers and formula for his baby and that's something we provide, small loans that banks and things don't offer," said Mccommas.

When you think of essential jobs, you probably think of health professionals like Kevin Roberts, President and CEO of AdventHealth Central Texas.

"We are the safety net for this community. We are here to identify this virus, people who have the virus," said Roberts. "Treat them if they do have the virus. Treat them if they don't have the virus. We want everyone to know we are here for the COVID patients, for the non COVID patients and everybody in between."

However, places like guns stores, gas stations, liquor stores, law offices and more are still open and considered essential businesses.

"All individuals, except for those conducting essential activity or at an essential business, or a business providing services to an essential business, should stay home," said Bell County Judge David Blackburn during a press conference on Friday.

In the meantime, county officials and health professionals are still asking everyone to continue social distancing.

"This virus, if it gets starved out and people stay home, it can not infect new people," said Roberts. "And that's how we're going to flatten that curve."

On Friday, Judge Blackburn extended the county's stay-at-home order until 11:59 a.m. on April 6.