MAYOR OF THE
CITY OF PARIS, TEXAS
DECLARING A LOCAL DISASTER FOR PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY
WHEREAS, beginning in December 2019, a novel coronavirus, now designated SARS-CoV2 which causes the disease COVID-19, has spread through the world and has now been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization; and
WHEREAS, on March 5, 2020, the World Health Organization Director-General urged aggressive preparedness and activation of emergency plans to aggressively change the trajectory of this epidemic; and
WHEREAS, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring the growing number of COVID-19 cases that have spread into the United States; and
WHEREAS, 7,038 cases of COVID-19 and 97 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the United States according to the CDC as of 4:00 pm on March 18, 2020; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbot reported a total of 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State of Texas and as of March 18, 2020, the total confirmed cases in the State of Texås is 83; and
WHEREAS, the first confirmed case in Lamar County, Texas was announced on March 19, 2020; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; and
WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. In some cases the virus has caused death, including three in the State of Texas as of March 18, 2020; and
WHEREAS, large gatherings of unidentifiable individuals without necessary mitigation for the spread of infection may pose a risk for the spread of infectious disease; and
WHEREAS, the continued worldwide spread of COVID-19 presents an imminent threat of widespread illness, which requires emergency action; and
WHEREAS, extraordinary measures must be taken to contain COVID19 and prevent its spread throughout the City of Paris, including the quarantine of individuals, groups of individuals, and property and, additionally, including compelling individuals, groups of individuals, or property to undergo additional health measures that prevent or control the spread of disease; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT DECLARED AND ORDERED pursuant to the authority granted in the Texas Disaster Act of Texas Government Code Chapter 418, as follows:
SECTION 1. That a local state of disaster is hereby declared for
Lamar County, Texas pursuant to Section 418.108 (a) of the Texas Government Code;
SECTION 2. By this declaration, The City of Paris’ Emergency Management Plan is activated and all other statutory powers vested in me and all officers of the City of Paris to act in this local state of disaster are activated. This declaration shall also activate all recovery and rehabilitation aspects of applicable local and inter-jurisdictional emergency management plans and authorizes the furnishing of all aid and assistance as deemed necessary or desirable by those administering such plans;
SECTION 3. By this declaration, I declare all rules and regulations that may inhibit or prevent prompt response to this threat be suspended for the duration of this declaration and any extension thereof;
SECTION 4. Pursuant to the authority granted to the Paris City Mayor under the Texas Disaster Act of Texas Government Code Chapter 418, I shall exercise any and all necessary powers set out thereunder and I hereby authorize the use of all available resources of city government and political subdivisions to assist in the City of Paris’ response to this disaster;
SECTION 5. Pursuant to the authority granted under the laws of the State of Texas, the City of Paris may take all legal actions necessary to protect the health of persons in Lamar County, Texas;
SECTION 6. Pursuant to Section 418.108 (b) of the Texas Government Code, the state of local disaster shall continue for a period of not more than seven (7) days from the date of this Declaration and Order unless continued or renewed by the City Council of the City of Paris, Texas.
SECTION 7. That this declaration hereby limits the size of gatherings to not more than 10 people and mandates the cancellation of all such gatherings until further notice. A “gathering’ refers generally to a scheduled event or common endeavor where 10 persons are present in a confined space, room, or area. The City Council of the City of Paris and its necessary attendees shall be exempt from this restriction for scheduled public meetings, whether a regular, work session, special or emergency meeting.
SECTION 8. A violation of this Declaration and Order is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor by a fine not to exceed $500.00.
SECTION 9. In the event the conditions improve between date of adoption and the end of the effective date of this Declaration and Order, the Mayor shall re-evaluate this Declaration and Order at that time.
SECTION 10. Pursuant to section 418.108(c) of the Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster for public health emergency shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the City Clerk.
SECTION 11. Pursuant to section 418.108(d) of the Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster activates the City of Paris Emergency Management Plan.
SECTION 12. That this declaration shall take effect immediately from and after its issuance.
DECLARED this 19th day of March, 20
DECLARATION ORDER OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PARIS TEXAS DATE ORDER ISSUED: March 19, 2020
Summary: The virus that causes 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is easily transmitted through person to person contact, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to protect the ability of public and private health care providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety. Because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus, and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, this Order prohibits community gatherings, of 10 persons or more anywhere in the City of Paris, Texas beginning at 5:30 p.m. on March 19, 2020, and continuing seven ( 7 ) days as defined by Section 3 herein. For all other gatherings, the City Council of the City of Paris, Texas, in cooperation with the Office of the Lamar County Judge and the Health District strongly recommend following the social distancing protocols attached to this Order, including canceling, rescheduling, or not attending events with more than 10 persons. Additionally, the Mayor and the Office of the Lamar County Judge and the Paris- Lamar County Health Department strongly urges high-risk individuals, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to cancel, reschedule, or not attend events that will have or will likely have 10 or more people.
UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE
SECTION 108, THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PARIS ORDERS:
- Effective as of 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 19, 2020, and continuing seven (7) days, public or private community gatherings (as defined in Section 3 below) are prohibited anywhere in the City of Paris, Texas.
- As advised by the Office of the Lamar County Judge and the Paris-Lamar County Health Department (“Health Authority”) The City Council strongly recommends canceling, rescheduling, or not attending events with more than 10 persons. The City Council alongwith the Office ofthe Lamar County Judge and the Paris-Lamar County Health Department strongly urges organizations that serve high-risk populations to cancel gatherings of more than 10 people. These recommendations are based on the social distancing practices attached to this Order as well as the “Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission” issued bythe United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”). The Mayor of the City of Paris, Texas and the Office ofthe Lamar County Judge and the Paris-Lamar County Health Department urges people to not attend non-essential gatherings during the duration of this Order in order to help slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- For purposes of clarity, a “Community Gathering” does not include the following so long as visitors are generally not within arm’s length of one another for extended periods:
- (i) spaces where 10 or more persons may be in transit or
waiting for transit such as airports, bus stations or terminals; (ii) office space or residential buildings; (iii) grocery stores, shopping malls, or other retail establishments where large numbers of people are present but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another for extended periods; and (iv) hospitals and medical facilities. In all such settings, Mayor Clifford and the Office of the Lamar County Judge and the Paris-Lamar County Health Department recommends following the attached Social Distancing Recommendations, and personal hygiene measures such as hand sanitizer and tissues should be provided when possible.
- This Order shall be effective for seven (7) days, or until it is either rescinded, superseded, or amended pursuant to applicable law.
- The City of Paris must promptly provide copies of this Order by posting on the City of Paris website. In addition, the owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is likely to be impacted by this Order is strongly encouraged to post a copy of this Order onsite. If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Order or any application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision will not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 19th day of March, 2020.
APPROVED AS TO FORM:
Ste hanie H. Harris, City Attorney
DCHHS Social Distancing Recommendations
‘i) Vulnerable Populations: LimitOutings
- Vulnerable populations include people who are:
- 60 years old and older.
- People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease and weakened immune systems.
- It is particularly important for vulnerable populations to avoid gatherings of 10 people or more. If you can telecommute, you should. Avoid people who are sick.
- Workplace and Businesses: Minimize Exposure
- Suspend nonessential employee travel.
- Minimize the number of employees working within arm’s length of one another, including minimizing or canceling large in-person meetings and conferences. Urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.
- Do not require a doctor’s note for employees who are sick.
- Consider use of telecommuting options.
- Some people need to be at work to provide essential services of great benefit to the community. They can take steps in their workplace to minimize risk.
- Large Gatherings: Cancel Non-essential Events
- Recommend cancelling or postponing large gatherings, such as concerts, sporting events, conventions or large community events.
- Do not attend any events or gatherings if sick.
- For events that aren’t cancelled, we recommend:
- Having hand washing capabilities, hand sanitizers and tissues available. Frequently cleaning high touch surface areas like counter tops and hand rails.
Finding ways to create physical space to minimize close contact as much as possible.
- Schools: Safety First
- Do not have your child attend school if sick.
- If you have a child with chronic health conditions, consult the child’s doctor about school attendance.
- Schools should equip all classrooms with hand sanitizers and tissues. Recommend rescheduling or cancelling medium to hrge events that are not essential.
- Explore remote teaching and online options to continue learning. Schools should develop a plan for citywide school closures, and families should prepare for potential closures.
- Transit: Cleaning and Protection
- Increase cleaning of vehicles and high touch surface areas.
- Provide hand washing/hand sanitizers and tissues in stations and on vehicles.
- Health Care Settings: Avoid as possibåe, protect the vulnerable
- Long term care facilities should have a COVID-19 plan in accordance with CDC or state guidelines.
- Long term care facilities should screen all staff and visitors for illness and turn away those with symptoms.
- The general public should avoid going to medical settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities, even if you are not
- If you are ill, call your health care provider ahead of time, and you may be able to be served by phone.
- Do not visit emergency rooms unless it is essential.
- Visitors should not go to long-term care facilities unless absolutely essential. Follow guidance and directions of all facilities.
- Everyone: Do your part
The best way for all City of Paris residents to reduce their risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Throw the tissue in the trash.
Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Try alternatives to shaking hands, like an elbow bump or wave.
- If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials and CDC guidance.
- There is no recommendation to wear masks at this time to prevent yourself from getting sick.
You can also prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak.
Preparedness actions include:
- Prepare to work from home if that is possible for your job, and your employer Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
- Prepare a child care plan if you or a caregiver are sick.
- Make arrangements about how your family will manage a school closure.
- Plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself. Take care of each other and check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors that are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get COVID19.
- Keep common spaces clean to help maintain a healthy environment for you and others. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfecting sprays, wipes or common household cleaning products.