JEFFERSON — Amid the news of additional COVID-19 positive cases in neighboring counties, Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur issued a mandatory shelter-in-place order that went into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

“This will remain in effect through April 30, in accordance with Governor Abbott’s executive order,” LaFleur said Tuesday.

When making the decision to issue an order, the county judge said he consulted with Jefferson Mayor Pro Tem Victor Perot, the county’s emergency management coordinator David Capps, the medical advice of health experts, including the Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt and also the advice of Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd.

“At this time in every county that touches us, there is at least one confirmed case of COVID-19,” said LaFleur.

“Given the largest portion of the population in Marion County is considered ‘at risk’ of contracting the virus, I feel it is my duty to protect, with all the available resources that are at my disposal, the people here in our community,” LaFleur said.

The county judge said, as of Tuesday, Marion County didn’t have any reported positive cases. Going forward, he said he will continue to review all available information on a daily basis and continue to update residents on the state of the county.

He applauded the community for following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control as it pertains to the global pandemic, as well as recommendations from state and national officials.

He said the county has done things in the beginning to be proactive in combating COVID-19 and keeping residents informed.

Also on Tuesday, the judge renewed the county’s Declaration of Local Disaster issued March 19, resulting from the global pandemic.

Per the disaster, all businesses, except essential businesses, are required to cease all activities at facilities within the county except minimum basic operations.