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Amended Declaration For Titus County

COUNTY OF TITUS, TEXAS

COUNTY JUDGE AMENDED DECLARATION OF LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER

DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

WHEREAS, a novel coronavirus, now designated SARS-CoV2 which causes the disease COVID-19, has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization; and

WHEREAS, the symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe illness and cause further complications including death; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 virus mainly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the Governor of the State of Texas issued a proclamation certifying that COVID-19 poses an imminent threat of disaster in the state and declaring a state of disaster for all counties in Texas; and

WHEREAS, said the state of disaster requires that certain emergency protective measures be taken pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 relating to the Emergency Management and Public Health, pursuant to Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code; and 

WHEREAS, A Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency was signed and filed with the Titus County Clerk on March 19, 2020; and

WHEREAS, counties in close proximity of Titus County including Franklin, Morris, Camp, Wood, and Bowie, all have positive tests of the COVID-19 Virus; and

WHEREAS, The Titus County Judge has now determined that the ongoing public health emergency in Titus County, Texas requires that the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency in Titus County be further amended to include additional restrictions and orders which are believed necessary to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Titus County, Texas;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED BY THE COUNTY JUDGE OF TITUS COUNTY, TEXAS THAT THE DECLARATION OF LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY FILED ON MARCH 19, 2020 IS AMENDED AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Prior Regulation in the Declaration of March 19, 2020. 

That the findings and recitations set out in the March 19, 2020 Declaration, are found to be true and correct and are hereby adopted by the Titus County Judge and made a part hereof for all purposes. All regulations and orders included in the March 19, 2020 declaration, unless superseded herein, remain in effect until rescinded in writing.  

SECTION 2. Executive Order. In accordance with Governor Abbott’s executive Order GA-14, every person in Titus County shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. “Essential services” shall consist of everything listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0 plus religious services conducted in churches, congregation, and houses of worship. Other essential services may be added to this list with the approval of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), which can be found by visiting www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices

SECTION 3Travel. All travel in Titus County is prohibited except for purposes of traveling to and from employment, to engage in activities or perform tasks essential to health and safety, or to the health and safety of one’s family or household members (e.g., to obtain groceries or necessary supplies, medical care, medications, physical activities, or other activities as described in Executive Order GA-14).

A. For purposes of this order, travel to and from a restaurant’s drive-in or drive-through services shall be considered travel “to obtain groceries or necessary supplies,” provided Social Distancing Requirements are followed.

B. For purposes of this order, travel to and from religious services shall be considered travel “essential to health and safety,” provided social distancing requirements described below are followed.

SECTION 4. Social Distancing Requirements. For purposes of this Order, Social Distancing Requirements include no gatherings of over ten people, maintaining at least a six-foot distance from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible, or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and/or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands. 

SECTION 5. Businesses Open to the Public Must Enforce Certain Requirements. Any business in Titus County open to the public must immediately develop a written plan for enforcement of the following requirements during the hours’ such businesses are open to the public:

  1. Procedure for maintaining at least six-foot distance from other individuals, including outside the immediate entrance of the business, as well as inside the building;
  1. Procedures for ensuring the regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces within the business;
  1. Procedures the business will use to enforce such requirements;
  1. A copy of the written plan shall be posted for public display on the front door of the business or storefront window, with a name, signature, and phone number of the owner or manager. Any business without a physical location (e.g., independent contractor) shall require all employees to maintain a copy of the plan.

All grocery stores, warehouse stores, big-box stores, and convenience stores that sell food products and or household staples and hardware supplies must include, as an element of their respective plans, a means of limiting the number of customers in the business at one time, so that the above distancing requirement may be ensured. 

Said written plan must be presentable for immediate inspection to any peace officer who requests it.

           SECTION 6. Religious Services.  Religious services are allowed and highly encouraged as long as services comply with the social distancing requirements outlined in Section 4 above. This order does not prohibit alternative means of worship, such as “drive-in” services held in church parking lots where worshippers remain in their vehicles, and social distancing requirements outlined in section 4 are adhered. 

Any church conducting a religious service shall immediately develop a written plan as described in Section 5 above.  

           SECTION 7. Employers Must Allow at Work Only Asymptomatic Employees. All employers within Titus County must monitor, before the beginning of a workday or shift, each of their employees for the following symptoms common to COVID-19: fever, dry cough, shortness of breath. Only Asymptomatic employees (those having none of the previous symptoms) may be allowed to remain at work. Employees who have any of the symptoms noted above must be sent home immediately and not allowed to return until they are free of such symptoms.

           SECTION 8. Order & Penalties

  1. These emergency regulations shall have the effect of and constitute an Order by the Titus County Judge, under the local emergency management plan, when duly filed with the County Clerk. This order is adopted by the authority vested in the Titus County Judge by Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code.
  1. Any orders, ordinances, or regulations are suspended or modified as necessary to make these regulations effective. Any person or entity who knowingly or intentionally violates this order commits ann offense, punishable by a fine up to $1,000.00 and confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.

SECTION 9. That this declaration now authorizes the use of all lawfully available enforcement tools.

SECTION 10. That this declaration shall take effect April 2, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. and after its issuance, and upon approval by Commissioners Court, shall continue in effect through April 30, 2020, subject to extension by the Titus County Judge. Under this declaration, additional directives may be issued by the County Judge at any time as deemed necessary.

DECLARED this ______ day of April 2020.

                                                                                   Brian Lee

                                                                                   County Judge

                                                                                   Titus County, Texas