The Brownfield City Council met via Zoom on Thursday morning, April 2, 2020 and did vote to follow the National and State guidelines and issue a Stay at Home order which will go into effect at midnight on Friday, April 3, 2020.
Essential business will remain open, such as grocery stores, gas stations, offices, and other businesses essential for the day to day operation of duties, as in farming operations. Churches are urged to hold remote broadcast services if possible. If that is not possible, all social distancing and health and safety protocol is to be followed by the church. (The Mayor’s Order is below in its entirety.)
This order will be in effect until the next Council meeting on April 16, 2020, at which time the Council will have the option to extend the order, depending on circumstances.
The City is also not doing any disconnect of services and are waiving any fees, such as late fees on services. However, the bill will still need to be paid. City Manager Jeff Davis stressed this. “People are thinking they are getting a free month without having to pay their bill. This is not the case. The bill will still need to be paid. We are just offering a grace period on disconnects. But, please, please pay your bill or pay a little as you can or you will find yourself way behind on a bill that must be paid when this is all over with.”
City services are currently running skeleton crews of only essential personnel and are practicing health and safety protocol, as well. The City Dump remains closed to the public at this time. “Germs live on those hard surfaces and we simply cannot put our citizens at risk by allowing them into the dump ground,” stated Davis.
The Municipal election scheduled for May 2, 2020 was also postponed by the Council. The election will be held on November 3, 2020.
CITY OF BROWNFIELD, TEXAS
DECLARATION OF LOCAL DISASTER – MAYORAL ORDER NO. 1
WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and is a contagious respiratory virus; and
WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Texas, Greg Abbott, issued a state-wide disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying that COVID-19 poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas; and
WHEREAS, there are more than four (4) confirmed cases of COVID -19 in Terry County; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 continues to spread and pose an imminent threat of widespread or severe illness, injury, or loss of life requiring emergency action and represents a public health disaster according to the Texas Department of State Health Services; and
WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Texas, on March 19, 2020, issued Executive Order GA-08, placing restrictions on social gatherings, visitations to local food and retail establishments where individuals in large numbers gather; and
WHEREAS, Executive Order GA-08 also places additional restrictions on visitations to nursing homes, retirement centers and long-term care facilities as well as temporarily closing schools; and
WHEREAS, on March 31, 2020, the Governor of the State of Texas issued Executive Order GA-14 adding to and superseding Executive Order GA-08, effective until April 30th instituting the social distancing requirements, further defining essential businesses and extending school closures until May 4, 2020; and
WHEREAS, it is critical for the City of Brownfield to take additional steps to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of Brownfield and the surrounding area; and
WHEREAS, the President of the United States and the United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on March 16, 2020, issued COVID-19 Guidelines for America calling upon Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people, using drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options at restaurants and bars, and avoiding visitation at nursing homes, among other steps; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Texas Government Code §418.108(a), the Mayor issued a declaration of local disaster on March 18th due to the COVID-19 pandemic that was renewed and extended on March 19th by the City Council of the City of Brownfield; and
WHEREAS, it is necessary to provide additional guidance and clarification to the March 18th Declaration due to the increased number of confirmed cases of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Texas Government Code §418.108 and in accordance with the authority granted the Mayor by the City Council when they renewed and extended the declaration of local disaster, the Mayor hereby orders the following consistent with the Declaration and in order to protect and preserve the public health, safety and welfare;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDERED BY THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BROWNFIELD, TEXAS:
- THAT the recitals outlined above are found to be true and correct and are incorporated as if fully set forth herein.
- THAT all terms and conditions of the Mayoral Declaration of a Local Disaster, which was signed and executed by the Mayor on March 18, 2020, renewed and extended by City Council minuted action, remains in full force and effect and is continued to the extent they do not directly conflict with this Order.
- THAT all persons residing in the City of Brownfield are ordered to STAY AT HOME or at their current place of residence. For purposes of this Order, “residence” includes 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.
- THAT all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside of a single household are hereby prohibited, except as otherwise provided in this Order. Nothing in this Order prohibits gatherings of members of a single household or living unit (an apartment for use by one family).
- THAT travel away from a person’s regular place of residence should be only for the purpose of obtaining essential goods and services or to the person’s place of employment which furnishes essential goods or services.
- THAT any person who is sick or currently experiencing common COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, is hereby ordered to STAY AT HOME until such time that:
- He or she has had no fever for at least 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine, such as Tylenol, and
- His or her other symptoms have improved; and
- At least 14 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared.
6. THAT if any person in a household has tested positive for COVID-19, all persons in the household are hereby ordered to STAY AT HOME and self-quarantine for a period of at least 14 days. Members of the household may not travel to work, school, or anywhere else until cleared by a medical professional.
7. THAT this order does not prohibit any person from leaving his or her residence to seek necessary medical or emergency care.
8. THAT as clarification and guidance and as a non-exclusive list, below are some activities that are permitted under this Order:
- Getting groceries, household supplies, medicine, gas, work-from-home supplies, pet and livestock supplies. However, people are highly encouraged to only bring those individuals necessary to conduct the activity. Please keep all non-essential additional family members especially children (if properly supervised) and elderly individuals at home;
- Going to the doctor’s or healthcare provider’s office;
- Participating in individual outdoor activities (hiking, biking, running, fishing, etc.) while maintaining social distance requirements;
- Acting as a caretaker for family members; and
- Traveling to and from an “Essential Business or Service” or “Low Risk Business” either as a patron or an employee.
- THAT the use of the public eating and drinking areas and facilities at restaurants, bars retail eating establishments and food courts, gyms/fitness centers or massage parlors is prohibited; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup or delivery services of restaurants, retail eating establishments and food courts is permitted and highly encouraged during the term of this Order.
- THAT in accordance with the Guidelines from the Governor, the President and the CDC, visiting at nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities is hereby prohibited unless to provide critical assistance.
- THAT in accordance with the Guidelines from the Governor, the President and CDC, the following commercial businesses, for which social distancing guidelines are impractical or impossible, are hereby prohibited and are ordered to cease operation and close:
- Non-essential Personal Services Businesses. Businesses which engage in direct, person-to-person services to the public which are not time-sensitive and which are not required for immediate health or safety of the recipient, including, hair salons, barbershops, hairstylists, nail salons, tattoo parlors, piercing businesses, tanning salons, and hair removal waxing businesses;
- Non-essential Retail Establishments. Retail businesses which do not primarily sell or provide the products or services described in , below;
- Commercial Amusement and Entertainment Venues;
- Enclosed Shopping Malls. Any premises which include multiple adjacent retail establishments connected by an enclosed common area; and
- Group Meeting Spaces. Meeting rooms, ballrooms, or event spaces operated by multi-family apartment complexes or hotels.
- THAT the following businesses are hereby deemed essential and may continue to operate, provided federal and CDC guidelines are followed, including affirmative steps to ensure that social distancing of 6 feet is maintained:
- Grocery Stores, Pharmacies, and Package Stores;
- Pet Supply Stores and Veterinary Clinics;
- Healthcare Providers, including doctor and dental offices, physical therapists, healthcare related clinics, provided they adhere to the Governor’s Executive Order (GA 09) regarding elective procedures;
- Vehicle Fuel Stations;
- Bank and Financial Institutions;
- Agricultural services including plant and food cultivation, farming, and raising livestock;
- Professional Services, including attorneys, accountants, engineers, title companies, insurance agents, and other licensed professionals;
- Office Buildings, where people work in individual enclosed spaces in groups of 10 or less;
- Day Care Centers; and
- Non-profit Providers of Essential Services;
- Essential Government Services and Facilities;
- Residential Buildings, including hotels and motels (except Group Meetings and Event Spaces);
- Manufacturing, Distribution, and Logistics Facilities;
- Laundromats and Dry Cleaners;
- Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries and funeral services provided that employees and attendees adhere to federal and CDC guidelines, including affirmative steps to ensure that social distancing of 6 feet is maintained; and
- Critical Infrastructure Businesses which support critical infrastructure or supply chain needs, as described by the Cyber & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
- THAT religious institutions, churches and places of worship are open for the purpose of allowing staff and employees to perform those functions necessary for the production of remote delivery of religious services or necessary to support online, telephone, email and other services. All staff and employees are required to adhere to federal and CDC guidelines, including affirmative steps to ensure that social distancing of 6 feet is maintained. Only in the event religious services cannot be conducted from home or through remote services, all religious services must 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.
- THAT to the extent this Order conflicts with the Governor’s Executive Order GA-14 regarding the regulation of essential services, Executive Order GA-14 controls.
- THAT residential, commercial, and industrial construction sites and building supply and home improvement retailers may remain open, provided federal and CDC guidelines are followed, including affirmative steps to ensure that social distancing of 6 feet is maintained, including for customers waiting to enter the premises, and only if occupancy inside the premises is limited to no more than 50 persons or ½ of the posted occupancy limit, inclusive of employees, whichever is less.
- THAT retail establishments not specifically described above as “Essential” are closed to customers; however, the use of drive through pickup, delivery, and curb-side delivery for merchandise is allowed and encouraged, provided federal and CDC guidelines are followed, including affirmative steps to ensure that social distancing of 6 feet is maintained, including for customers waiting to pick up merchandise.
- THAT any business which is permitted to remain open and which does not specifically meet one of the categories described above is hereby required to adhere to federal and CDC guidelines, including affirmative steps to ensure that social distancing of 6 feet is maintained, including for anyone waiting to enter the premises, and not more than ten persons permitted to be inside the premises, inclusive of employees and customers.
- THAT for ANY workplace that remains open, management of the business should facilitate and encourage practicing social distancing and good hygiene and, where feasible, require employees to work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVID-19; and
- THAT pursuant to §418.108(c) of the Texas Government Code, this Order shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the City Secretary.
- THAT this Order authorizes the City to take any actions necessary to promote health and suppress the COVID-19 virus, including the quarantine of persons and occupied structures, examining and regulating hospitals, regulating ingress and egress from the City, regulating ingress and egress to occupied structures, establishment of quarantine stations, emergency hospitals, and other hospitals, and all actions authorized for a Type A general law municipality pursuant to Texas Health and Safety Code § 122.005 and including insuring compliance of such actions.
- THAT the Mayor is authorized to use all available resources of the City of Brownfield reasonably necessary to comply with this Order.
- THAT for all gatherings, it is strongly recommended that citizens adhere to the Social Distancing Protocols established by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- THAT pursuant to § 418.173 of the Texas Government Code, any person who knowingly or intentionally violates this Order 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.
- THAT this Order shall take effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, and continue until April 16th unless renewed, extended, amended or cancelled by the City Council of the City of Brownfield.