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WHEREAS, COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019; and
WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe illness and cause further complications including death; and
WHEREAS, the 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, the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus, now designated COVID-19, as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020; and
WHEREAS, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA08 on March 19, 2020.
WHEREAS, the continued worldwide spread of COVID-19 presents an imminent threat of widespread illness, which requires emergency action for the protection of the people of Parker County; and
WHEREAS, a declaration of local disaster and public health emergency includes the ability to reduce the possibility of exposure to disease, control the risk, promote health, and compel persons to undergo additional health measures that prevent or control the spread of disease. These measures include isolation, surveillance, quarantine, or placement of persons under public health observation, including the provision of temporary housing or emergency shelters for persons misplaced or evacuated. A declaration allows the request of assistance from the Governor for state resources; and
WHEREAS, this Declaration activates the Parker County Emergency Management Plan; and
WHEREAS, the County Judge and commissioners have determined that extraordinary measures must be taken to mitigate the effects of this public health emergency and to facilitate the efficient, rapid, and cooperative response to the emergency; and
THEREFORE, Be It Proclaimed by the Commissioners court that:
1. This Declaration of Local Disaster due to Public Health Emergency shall continue for a period of not more than 30 days from March 23, 2020 unless continued, rescinded or renewed by the Commissioners Court.
2. A declaration of a local state of disaster activates the Parker County Emergency Management Plan. Declaration of Local Disaster Due to Public Health Emergency
3. This Declaration authorizes the County to commandeer or use any private property as provided by law.
4. This Declaration hereby limits the size of gatherings to no more than 50 people and mandates the cancellation of all such gatherings of more than 50 people until further notice. This Declaration does not prohibit gatherings of people in multiple, separate enclosed spaces (including separate cubicles) in a single building such as different floors of a multi-level office, residential building, or hotel, so long as 50 people are not present in any single space at the same time. This Declaration also does not prohibit the use of enclosed spaces where more than 50 people may be present at different times during the day, so long as more than 50 people are not present in the space at the same time. The uses in Sections 5, 6, and 7 are not considered "gatherings," but are limited or prohibited as provided in Sections 5, 6, and 7.
5. This Declaration hereby orders that a restaurant with or without drive-in or drive-through services; drive-in restaurant; drive-through restaurant; or microbrewery, micro-distillery, or winery may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-in, or drive-through services, if permitted by law.
6. This Declaration hereby orders the closure of the following: bars, lounges, or taverns; commercial amusement establishment, bingo halls; theaters; gyms; and private clubs.
7. This Declaration hereby limits the occupancy of the following locations to 50% occupancy as set forth on the business’s certificate(s) of occupancy or 125 individuals, whichever is less: a. Event Centers; b. Hotel Meeting Spaces, and Ballrooms; c. Retail Stores; d. Convenience Stores; e. Plazas; f. Places of Worship; and g. Malls (the occupancy of a mall is limited as follows: (i) common areas in a mall to 50% occupancy as set forth in the business’s certificate(s) of occupancy or 125 individuals, whichever is less, and (ii) individual retail stores within a mall to 50% occupancy as set forth in the business’s certificates(s) of occupancy or 125, whichever is less).
The 50% occupancy limit does not apply to areas not listed above, including office buildings, government buildings, critical infrastructure such as airport and transit facilities, residential buildings, grocery stores, manufacturing locations, non-profit service providers, airports, homeless and emergency shelters, day cares, and medical facilities.
8. This Declaration hereby authorizes the use of all lawfully available enforcement tools.
All critical infrastructure will remain operational, domestic travel will remain unrestricted, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services.
This declaration does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This declaration does not mandate sheltering in place.
For offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVD-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this declaration will expire.
This declaration supersedes all previous orders on this matter that are in conflict or inconsistent with its terms, and this order shall remain in effect and in full force until 12:00 p.m. on March 23, 2020, subject to being extended, modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the commissioners court or the County Judge.
9. This Declaration shall take effect at 12:00 p.m., ORDERED this the 20th day of March 2020.
Original Signed by Pat Deen, Parker County Judge on March 20, 2020