So many changes are coming into our lives right now. This is a bewildering time for all of us. We don’t know what is down the road and we don’t even know if we can be on the road! We will attempt to clarify, as much as we can, what these orders mean for your day to day life. City Manager Jeff Davis has stated, “We want to stay one step ahead all the way through this. We understand that this is not an easy thing to do but we have to keep our community safe.”
At the recent City Council meeting, it was decided that there would be no disconnects of service of City utilities at this time. However, citizens need to understand that the bill will still be theirs to pay. This is not a free service situation. People need to continue to try to pay as they can, as much or as little as they are able. When this pandemic is over, all those bills will still need to be paid. The City urges citizens to not let these bills get out of hand and to try to continue to pay what they can.
With this pandemic going on, there are just so many unknowns. The City and the County both passed orders making Brownfield and Terry County “Stay at Home/Stay Safe locations. Both have long proclamations laying out what can and cannot be done during this time. The main idea of it all is that everyone needs to just stay home as much as is possible.
Essentially, this order follows closely what the Governor ordered on Tuesday, March 31. The City orders will be in effect until April 16, which is when the next Council meeting is scheduled. The orders will be readdressed at that meeting and will likely be extended. The County orders will go until extended or until such time as it can be lifted.
There are many questions about exactly what is allowed during this time. Ideally, people need to be at home. If a trip to the store is needed, only one person needs to make that trip. Walking, going for a run and other outings such as these are allowed, but social distancing must be practiced. People are still welcomed to go to parks as a family, but no social gatherings are allowed. The playgrounds, basketball courts, volleyball courts and skate park will be closed due to the fact that it is too difficult to keep those hard surfaces clean and sanitized.
City drinking water is safe. The chlorine in the water does kill the virus. So, you can drink the city water safely. Bottled water does not have to be used.
Remember only essential businesses are open. Grocery stores are obviously open, but they are not for social gatherings. Get in and get your items as quickly as possible. Observe the guidelines the store has set up. Try to make as few trips to the stores as you can. Even though there are shortages of so many things right now, as much as you can, get what you need in one trip.
Most restaurants are still open, but must be curbside pickup only. No hair salons are manicure businesses are allowed to be open at this time. Other businesses that are allowed to be open are mostly using curbside service, as well.
Funeral Homes are considered an essential business but must also observe the 10 people allowed inside rule, this excludes the employees of the funeral home. Families gathering outside are urged, and required by this order to maintain social distance.
Churches are urged to hold only video services. Churches who do not have video capabilities are permitted to have services, but must still follow the social distancing guidelines and appropriate sanitation protocol should be followed.
Police Chief Tony Serbantez stated, “Obviously, we are not going to be pulling people over to see where they are headed. This will be handled on a case by case basis. If we see the same car out just roaming around, we will make contact and encourage them to go home.”
Sheriff Timothy Click stated, “We will be operating our normal county patrols. If we see a gathering or someone in direct violation of the orders, we will make contact at that time. We try our best to keep people safe and we will continue to do that.”
Bottom line in all of this is to read the orders. The City and County orders have both been posted on TownTalk Radio. If you have questions, refer back to these orders. Use your common sense. But, above all else, stay at home and let’s flatten the curve!