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Amended Declaration of Disaster – April 1, 2020

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CITY OF STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS

ORDER DECLARING LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER

DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

WHEREAS, a novel coronavirus, now designated SARS-CoV2 which causes the disease COVID- 19, has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization; and

WHEREAS, the symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe illness and cause further complications including death; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 virus mainly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; and

WHEREAS, President Donald Trump declared a State of National Emergency for the United States of America on March 13, 2020; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the Governor of the State of Texas issued a proclamation certifying that COVID-19 poses an imminent threat of disaster in the state and declaring a state of disaster for all counties in Texas; and

WHEREAS, on March 25, 2020, the City Council of the City of Stephenville issued a Declaration of Local State Disaster Due to Public Health Emergency and the City of Stephenville is taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of this potentially devastating disease in our community; and

WHEREAS, said state of disaster requires that certain emergency protective measures be taken pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 relating to Emergency Management and Public Health, pursuant to Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDERED by the City Council of the City of Stephenville, Texas that the March 25, 2020 Declaration of Public Health Emergency is hereby amended as follows:

SUMMARY

The virus that causes 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is easily transmitted through person to person contact, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to protect the ability of public and private health care providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety. Because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus, and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, this Order requires all individuals anywhere in Erath County, Texas to shelter in place – that is, stay at home – except for certain essential activities and work to provide essential business and government services or perform essential public infrastructure construction, including housing. This Order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2020 and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020, subject to the limited exceptions and under the terms and conditions more particularly set forth below.

SECTION 1.         

  • A State of Disaster and Public Health Emergency is hereby declared for the City of Stephenville, pursuant to §418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code.
  • This Declaration of a local state of disaster and public health emergency shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the City Secretary, pursuant to §418.108(c) of the Texas Government Code.
  • The City’s Emergency Operations Plan is activated and implemented, pursuant to §418.108(d) of the Texas Government Code.
  • The City Council of the City of Stephenville authorizes the city manager to promulgate such regulations as he deems necessary to protect life and property and preserve critical resources while a state of disaster is in effect.
  • This Declaration authorizes the City to temporarily acquire, by lease or other means, sites required for temporary housing units or emergency shelters for evacuees, subject to compensation requirements, pursuant to §418.020(c) of the Texas Government Code.
  • This Declaration authorizes the City to take any actions necessary to promote health and suppress disease, including quarantine, examining and regulating hospitals, regulating ingress and egress from the City, and fining those who do not comply with the City’s rules, pursuant to §122.006 of the Health and Safety Code.
  • This declaration hereby authorizes the use of all lawfully available enforcement tools.

SECTION 2.         

  • This Declaration orders that all individuals currently living within Erath County, Texas are to shelter at their place of residence. For purposes of this Order, residences include hotels, motels, shared rentals, and similar facilities. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times, as reasonably as possible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence. All persons may leave their residences only for Essential Activities, as described in Section 2.
  • In accordance with Executive Order GA 14 issued by Governor Gregg Abbott on March 31, 2020 “Essential services” shall consist of everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0, plus religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. Other essential services may be added to this list with the approval of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) . TDEM shall maintain an online list of essential services, as specified in this executive order and in any approved additions . Requests for additions should be directed to TDEM at EssentialServices@tdem.texas.gov or by visiting www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices.
  • This Declaration orders that all businesses shall comply with the Social Distancing Guidelines attached, including maintaining six-foot social distancing for both employees and the general public. The business may take other precautions including wearing protective equipment, rotating shifts, etc., if distancing is not achievable in the workplace.
  • This Declaration orders all businesses operating within the city of Stephenville, Texas to take extreme care and all actions necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Extreme care and action include, but is not limited to, the following practices:
  • Monitoring the body temperature of all employees;
  • Prior to opening for business and throughout the day disinfecting all surfaces;
  • Encouraging all employees to wash their hands on an hourly basis;
  • Mandate all employees and customers abide by the social distancing guidelines attached;
  • Limit travel of employees outside the city limits of the City of Stephenville, Texas;
  • At Convenience Stores where no automatic door is present, at least one door allowing entry for customers shall remain permanently open during business hours;
  • All businesses must provide hand sanitizing stations at least one entrance; and
  • Allow employees whose job functions permit them to work within the confines of their own home to do such.

Businesses and employers are encouraged to implement any and all measures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are ordered to post all measures on the door of entrance to their businesses.

  • This Declaration hereby orders the closing of the following:
    • Personal service businesses or one-to-one businesses including, but not limited to, tanning salons, tattoo and body piercing parlors, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, massage parlors, and massage activities ancillary to another business unless prescribed by a professional health care provider.
    • All meeting spaces to include those in residential, hotel, or outdoor spaces.
  • All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except as otherwise provided herein. Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or living unit.  A gathering is defined as an assembly or meeting, especially a social or festive one, or one held for a specific purpose with the exception of religious services as defined in section 2.2 that are held in compliance with section 2.8 of this order.
  • Restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services and microbreweries, micro-distilleries, or wineries may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-through services as allowed by law.
  • In accordance with Executive Order GA 14 issued by Governor Gregg Abbott on March 31, 2020, If religious services cannot be conducted from home or through remote services, they should be conducted consistent with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, and by implementing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • All elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited anywhere in the City of Stephenville. Hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental offices, and other medical facilities are directed to identify procedures that are deemed “elective” by assessing which procedures can be postponed or cancelled based on patient risk considering the emergency need for redirection of resources to COVID-19 response.
  • Golf Pro Shops will be closed. Golfers will check in outside and staff will practice social distancing similar to grocery stores and markets to assist golfers. Flag sticks will be removed from the greens until further notice. Bunker rakes will be removed from the bunkers. Clubs and Golf course will only allow one rider per cart, and walking as an option if no carts are available. Carts will be sanitized after each use. All golfers will remain six feet apart at all times, no exceptions. Distancing requirements will be monitored by a Golf Professional to ensure compliance. Driving ranges and practice facilities will be closed. Golfers are not permitted to congregate at any time. Course lavatory facilities shall be sanitized every thirty minutes by course staff. Both golfers and course staff are subject to the penalties set forth herein to enforce this Order.

SECTION 3.

For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following “Essential Activities” or access any “Essential Service “as defined by Executive Order GA 14:

  • To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (for example, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies needed to work from home).
  • To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others (for example: food, pet supply, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences).
  • To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social distancing requirements of six feet (for example, walking, biking, hiking, or running).
  • To perform work or travel to and from jobs, including construction or agricultural services, provided individuals comply with social distancing requirements of six feet.
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household.

SECTION 4.

Childcare facilities may continue to operate under the following guidelines:

  • Child’s temperature must be checked upon entrance and children with a fever will not be allowed in. Temperature will be taken throughout the day in at least 90 minute intervals and children will be sent home if fever exists.
  • Childcare must be carried out in groups of 10 or fewer each day.
  • No interchanging of groups of children.
  • If more than one group is at a facility, each group must be in a separate room (no mixing of groups).
  • Each provider must stay with only one group and not change.

SECTION 5.

Due to increased demand for bath or toilet tissue resulting from stock-up buying and individuals who purchase for resale, a mandatory limit on toilet paper sales is instituted until the supply chain meets the demand or two weeks, whichever comes first. All sales of bath or toilet tissue occurring in Erath County are limited to the greater of a) twelve (12) rolls per purchase or b) one (1) package per purchase.

SECTION 6.         

  • All public, private, and commercial laboratories operating within the City of Stephenville and performing COVID-19 testing shall report by 5:00 p.m. each day for the prior 24-hour period (1) the number of COVID-19 tests performed and (2) the number of positive COVID-19 tests to Jimmy Chew, Director of Emergency Management for the City of Stephenville if the specimen is collected, or the test is performed, in the City of Stephenville.
  • Such laboratories shall not provide names or other individually identifiable health information that could be used to identify an individual patient. This information will be used solely for public health purposes to monitor the testing conducted in the City and mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19.

SECTION 7.

If someone in a household has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), the household is ordered to isolate at home. Members of the household cannot go to work, school, or any other community function outside the home. Any person who is sick, experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath are hereby ordered to stay home and follow Center for Disease Control Guidelines on how to discontinue home isolation.

SECTION 8.

Nursing homes, retirement, and long-term care facilities are instructed by this order to prohibit non-essential visitors from accessing their facilities unless to provide critical assistance or for end-of-life visitation.

SECTION 9.         

In order to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 virus to the citizens of Stephenville, the City of Stephenville is implementing the following closures.

  • Airport – Terminal is to remain open, however no group meetings will be held or scheduled.
  • City Hall – Front doors will be locked and the public will be admitted to the building by appointment only. Staff will monitor telephones and email during business hours. Employees who do not have an office in City Hall will be able to make appointments by telephone or by email.
  • Library – Closed to the public and all programs cancelled. Staff will monitor telephones and email during business hours.  Returns will be accepted through the outside receptacles.
  • Municipal Service Center – Front doors will be locked and the public will be admitted to the building by appointment only. Staff will monitor telephones and email during business hours.
  • Park Facilities – Closed to the public and all programs cancelled.
  • Public Safety
    • Fire Station No. 2 – Front doors will be locked.  Those seeking assistance may contact fire personnel by using the intercom in the front of the building or by calling 254-918-1273 from their home or cell phone.
  • Police Department – Front doors will be locked.  Those seeking assistance may contact dispatch by picking up the phone in the front of the building or by calling 254-918-1273 from their home or cell phone.
  • Recreation Center – Closed to the public and all programs cancelled.
  • Senior Citizens Center – Closed to the public; all programs and activities will be cancelled.
  • Meetings – All Public Meetings will comply with the Texas Open Meetings Act as amended by Executive Order of the Governor of the State of Texas.  All Public Meetings will be conducted via teleconference unless otherwise posted.  All Regular Business Meetings of the Stephenville City Council held on the 1st Tuesday of each month are suspended for the duration of this order or unless called into session by the Mayor of Stephenville.   

SECTION 10.

The City of Stephenville will not terminate utility services for the duration of this declaration.  The City of Stephenville will designate funds in the amount of $250,000 to help stimulate all restaurants and personal service businesses within the city of Stephenville that have been affected by COVID-19.

SECTION 11.

This Order shall become effective immediately, and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020, or until it is either rescinded, superseded, or amended pursuant to applicable law.

SECTION 12.

The City of Stephenville must promptly provide copies of this Order by posting on the city’s website. In addition, the owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is likely to be impacted by this Order is strongly encouraged to post a copy of this Order onsite and to provide a copy to any member of the public asking for a copy.

SECTION 13.

If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Order or any application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision will not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.

SECTION 14.

A person who knowingly or intentionally violates this declaration commits an offense, punishable by a fine of not less than $50.00 and not more than $1,000.00 or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.  Upon a second violation of this declaration, a business who holds a Certificate of Occupancy from the City of Stephenville may have that Certificate of Occupancy revoked.

SECTION 15.

  • Any ordinance, order, or regulation that would prevent temporary sheltering and housing by the City of Stephenville, Texas, or the Federal Government in response to the declared disaster are suspended or modified as necessary to make these regulations effective.
  • Any ordinance or regulation imposing a time requirement for approving or denying an application or for appealing a County Court or Administrative decision is tolled.
  • Any ordinances or regulations that conflict with these regulations are suspended or modified as necessary to make these regulations effective.
  • Suspension or modification of the ordinances and regulations shall remain in effect until these regulations are terminated or until the state of disaster is terminated, whichever is sooner.

SECTION 16.

This declaration hereby authorizes the use of all lawfully available enforcement tools.

ORDERED THIS the 1st day of April, 2020.