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Mayor issues local disaster declaration

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  • Mayor issues local disaster declaration
    Following the guidelines set by the State of Texas March 19, Mayor Mark Turner signed a Mayoral Declaration of Local State of Disaster Due to Public Health Emergency at the new city hall offices March 20. Courtesy photo

The city of Wills Point took proactive steps towards mitigating the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 epidemic that has spread worldwide in recent months, issuing a Mayoral Declaration of Local State of Disaster Due to Public Health Emergency March 20.

The declaration states, in part, “Section 5. That this declaration authorizes the city to take any actions necessary to promote health and suppress the 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 insuring compliance for those who do not comply with the city’s rules, pursuant to section 122.006 of the Health and Safety Code.

“Section 6. Effective as of midnight (12 a.m.) on Friday, March 20, 2020 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020 (with city council approval), which may be extended depending upon federal and state mandates and guidelines involving COVID-19,

“That this declaration hereby limits the size of gatherings to not more than 10 people and mandates the cancellation of all such gatherings. A ‘gathering’ refers generally to a scheduled event or common endeavor where 10 or more persons are present in a confined space, room, or area.

“Restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services may only provide take out, delivery or drive-through services as allowed by law. People shall avoid eating and drinking at restaurants.

“Bars, private clubs, massage parlors, arcades, and gyms shall close. People shall not visit these establishments.

“Nursing facilities, retirement, and/or long-term care facilities shall be closed to the public for visitation. People shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

“In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

“City facilities shall be closed to the public and the City Hall and Police Department shall temporarily closed for in-person services.

“Section 7. 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 or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.”

In signing the document Mayor Mark Turner stated, “Individually, if we are choosing not to comply, we are a part of the problem, and not part of the solution. The shortest way through this is compliance. Non-compliance will lead to extended measures and possible state-wide lock down. Please choose to be a part of the solution.”

Turner added, “I don’t know what will happen in the upcoming weeks. However, I do know that if we support our local businesses and each other, we will get through this and show what makes us Wills Point strong!”