WHEREAS, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus, now designated COVID-19, as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020; and
WHEREAS, President Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019; and
WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe illness and cause further complications including death; and
WHEREAS, the 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, the continued worldwide spread of COVID-19 presents an imminent threat of widespread illness, which requires emergency action for the protection of the people of Parker County; and
WHEREAS, a declaration of local disaster and public health emergency includes the ability to reduce the possibility of exposure to disease, control the risk, promote health, and compel persons to undergo additional health measures that prevent or control the spread of disease. These measures include isolation, surveillance, quarantine, or placement of persons under public health observation, including the provision of temporary housing or emergency shelters for persons misplaced or evacuated. A declaration allows the request of assistance from the Governor for state resources; and
WHEREAS, this Declaration activates the Parker County Emergency Management Plan; and
WHEREAS, the County Judge and Commissioners Court have determined that extraordinary measures must be taken to mitigate the effects of this public health emergency and to facilitate the efficient, rapid, and cooperative response to the emergency; and
WHEREAS, the County Judge issued an Emergency Declaration of Local Disaster due to Public Health Emergency on March 20, 2020. Now, the County Judge and Commissioners Court hereby issue this First Amended Declaration of Local Disaster due to Public Health Emergency to implement additional measures to ensure the protection of the residents of Parker County.
THEREFORE, Be It Proclaimed by the County Judge that:
- This First Amended Declaration of Local Disaster due to Public Health Emergency shall continue for a period of not more than 30 days from March 23, 2020 unless continued, renewed or rescinded by the County Judge or the Commissioners Court.
- A Declaration of a local state of disaster activates the Parker County Emergency Management Plan.
- This Declaration authorizes the County to commandeer or use any private property as provided by law.
- This Declaration hereby limits the size of gatherings to no more than 10 people and mandates the cancellation of all such gatherings of more than 10 people until further notice. For purposes herein, a gathering is any indoor or outdoor event that brings together or is likely to bring together more than 10 people at the same time in a single space where people are present and within 6 feet of one another, without regard to the purpose of the gathering. This Declaration does not prohibit gatherings of people in multiple, separate enclosed spaces (including separate cubicles) in a single building such as different floors of a multi-level office, residential building, or hotel, so long as not more than 10 people are present in any single space at the same time. This Declaration also does not prohibit the use of enclosed spaces where more than 10 people may be present at different times during the day, so long as more than 10 people are not present in the space at the same time. This Declaration does not make a distinction between types of gatherings, i.e. social, community or recreational.
- This Declaration orders that restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services; drive-in restaurants; drive-through restaurants; or microbreweries, micro-distilleries, or wineries may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-in or drive-through services, if permitted by law.
- This Declaration orders that individuals cannot occupy nor can individuals be permitted to occupy the following: bars, lounges, taverns, vaping establishments, commercial amusement establishments, bingo halls, theaters, gyms, private clubs, hair and nail salons and barber shops, estheticians and related personal care businesses, spas, massage salons, tattoo and piercing parlors, tanning salons, residential meeting spaces, event centers, hotel meeting spaces and ballrooms, outdoor plazas and markets, malls and retail stores that do not sell essential household goods.
- This Declaration allows the following entities to continue doing business as long as they enforce social separation: grocery stores, stores selling essential household goods, farmers markets, convenience and package stores, pharmacies and drug stores, day care facilities, medical and dental facilities, veterinary services, non-profit service providers, homeless and emergency shelters, office buildings, essential government buildings, airports and transit facilities, transportation systems, residential buildings and hotels, and manufacturing and distribution facilities. In all such locations, there must be sufficient space for all people to be 6 feet apart to the greatest extent possible at all times to control infection. Where possible, a tracking list of the individuals present, and their contact information shall be maintained.
- Notwithstanding the above restrictions, this Declaration is not intended to apply to any business operations delivering essential services. Essential Services means services, the interruption of which would endanger life, health or personal safety of the whole or part of the population.
- If someone in a household has tested positive for COVID-19, the household is ordered to isolate at home. Members of the household cannot go to work, school, or any other community function until cleared by a medical professional.
- This Declaration closes worship services for in-person services, provided that needed staff can attend to produce audio/video services for transmission.
- In accordance with Texas Government Code §418.173, a person who knowingly or intentionally violates this declaration commits an offense, punishable by a fine up to $1,000.00 or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.
- These restrictions set out in the attached table may be updated as allowed by law, as necessary to respond to the evolving circumstances of this outbreak during the duration of this declaration and any extension without the issuance of a new declaration.
- This Declaration hereby authorizes the use of all lawfully available enforcement tools.
- This Declaration incorporates the attached table, Disaster Restrictions, as if set forth verbatim herein.
- This Declaration shall be filed promptly with the County Clerk.
- This Declaration shall take effect Tuesday at 6 pm., March 24, 2020.
Document signed in Commissioners Court on 3/23/2020.
To read the entire First Amended Declaration of Local Disaster due to Public Health Emergency from Parker County visit their website here.