County makes Local Declaration of Imminent Disaster request
Young County Judge John Bullock sent a request to Governor Abbott this morning requesting a Local Declaration of Imminent Disaster in order to assist Young County in its preparations for the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In the declaration, Bullock states, COVID-19 poses the threat of infection, serious illness and possible death to all ages of people, those with pre-existing conditions, the aged and those with a weakened immune system.
The declaration serves as an advisory and gives critical steps that the community members of Young County can take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of those in the area. It also, if approved by Governor Abbott, grants Bullock to take additional actions as necessary to make directives enforcing stricter restrictions.
Bullock advises that schools suspend classes indefinitely; churches should suspend congregational services; gyms, health clubs and bars should temporarily close; event facilities should re-schedule or cancel events; any gatherings of 25 or more should be canceled; reduce on-site staffing to essential personnel; encourage working at home if possible and encourage ordering food for take-out or delivery.
The advisory continues to state that community members should wash hands with soap and water often for 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer 60% or greater; wash clothes that are worn daily; wear fresh clothes daily; avoid large crowds; remain distant six feet or more from others and stay at home as much as possible.
For community members who feel sick, call your doctor, for those with more severe symptoms to visit the Graham Regional Medical Center Emergency Room.
The local declaration will expire seven days from its issuance unless the Commissioners Court consents to its renewal or continuance. The next Commissioner's Court meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 23, at 9:30 a.m.
Bullock addressed the decision in an emergency Commissioner's Court meeting on March 16.
"This would put us (aligned) with getting resources that are available to us," Bullock said. "If I do issue that declaration, it would go through our Texas Department of Emergency Management (...) they'll get it to the state, and they'll get it to our governor's office. That all has to happen within 60 hours. We'll be notified of the okay and that will continue for no more than seven days and we'll have to meet again to get the authorization again if that occurs."
He also stressed that it would be an advisory rather than a declaration.He said there is no cause for panic and that despite store shelves getting bare, there is not a food shortage.
“Whenever we’ve had holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and Labor Day, all of those stores are ramping up for that day or occasion,” he said. “They put lots of extra stock in their stores. This came all of a sudden and we don’t have enough supply lines to keep those stores stocked.”