An emergency management zoom call was held on Tuesday to get everyone on the same page after the Governor’s announcement to reopen businesses. These orders have many grey areas and are ever changing. It is important we all understand it the same way and spread a unified message.
While the Governor did allow for counties with less than 5 cases to open at 50%, the county judge actually had to make a request to the Texas Department of State Health Services. He did make a request for Haskell County and we do have permission to operate at 50%.
It is important everyone understands,
this is not a green light to do whatever they want.
“Now more than ever, it is important to be responsible for yourself and your neighbor. Don’t just think about yourself, think about your neighbor, grandparents, and be responsible,” said County Judge Kenny Thompson. “The government is not going to control this, you have to.”
It is also imperative that everyone understand you still cannot social gather.
Casey Moeller was able to get clarification on this today. The answer from the DSHS was no more than 10 people can gather. This rule of 10 does not apply to businesses. They are under the occupancy rule. DSHS specifically sited GA-20 below.
Specifics from GA-20 include:
1_n accordance with guidance from DSHS Commissioner Dr. Hellerstedt, and to achieve the goals established by the President to reduce the spread of COVD-19,
every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services or reopened services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.
People over the age of 65, however, are strongly encouraged to stay at home as much as possible; to maintain appropriate distance from any member of the household who has been out of the residence in the previous 14 days; and, if leaving the home, to implement social distancing and to practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.
Therefore, please use the same precautions you have been using. We need to continue to social distance, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and not gather in large groups if it can be prevented.
The county courthouse will be opening soon. They are installing plexiglass shields in offices to add a layer of safety for employees. As soon as this is done, they will open. They will proceed with caution and be taking additional safety measures. They will have only one entrance open. There will be someone to monitor people coming into the courthouse, possibly doing temperature checks and making sure people are keeping social distance. They will be requiring you to wear a mask.
City Hall will remain drive-through only at this time. They will not be opening the doors until Phase 2 of the Governor’s plan. If you need to come inside, please call and make special arrangements.
Our local nursing home will remain closed to visitors per the Governor’s order. They are looking at some other unique ways for visitation other than just the wave parades. Steve King did want to thank everyone for the huge outpouring from the last wave parade. It was very well received by staff and residents.
Chris Strickland, hospital administrator, said the hospital will be somewhat back to normal by May 4
. However, they will be continuing all their safety measures (temp checks, masks, etc.) through June 1
. There will still be some limitations on visitors, but he hopes to loosen those a little if he is able. He is very concerned about the community’s mental health and the economic impact that all of this is having on everyone. He is urging people to take precautions when visiting high risk areas.
Also, businesses have the option to open or remain closed. Most are planning to open. However, for some the low occupancy rate may not be worth the risks involved in opening up fully. Please be respectful of this decision and continue to shop online, curbside and take out. Let’s continue to do our best to support these businesses that have supported our community for years.
We understand these extra measures may be an inconvenience , but try to remember they will also save a life. Together we are protecting Haskell citizens to the best of our ability.