Erath County files declaration of disaster
Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos has filed a declaration of disaster which limits public gatherings to no more than 10 people and restricts all restaurants to only serving food by delivery or curbside take-out in the unincorporated parts of Erath County. The declaration was signed March 19 and is in effect for the following seven days, at which time, the Erath County Commissioners' Court will determine whether to extend the state of disaster.
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, Erath County, Texas, is taking extraordinary measures to prevent the spread of this potentially devastating disease in our community; and
WHEREAS, said state of disaster requires that certain emergency protective measures be taken pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 relating to Emergency Management and Public Health, pursuant to Chapter 41 8 of the Texas Government Code.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED BY THE COUNTY JUDGE OF ERATH COUNTY, TEXAS:
SECTION 1. That a local state of disaster for public health emergency is hereby declared for Erath County, Texas, pursuant to Section 418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code.
SECTION 2. That pursuant to Section 418.108(b) of the Texas Government Code the state of disaster for public health emergency shall continue for a period of not more than seven (7) days from the date of this declaration, unless continued or renewed by the Commissioners Court of Erath County, Texas.
SECTION 3. That pursuant to Section 418.108(c) of the Texas 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 County Clerk.
SECTION 4. That pursuant to Section 418.108(d) of the Texas Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster activates the Erath County, Texas, emergency management plan, and authorizes the furnishing of aid and assistance under the declaration.
SECTION 5. That this declaration authorizes the County 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 County, 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 County's rules and directives.
SECTION 6. That this declaration hereby limits the size of gatherings to not more than 10 people and mandates the cancellation of al! such gatherings of more than 10 people 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. This does not include schools.
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 multi-level office, residential building, or hotel, so long as more than 10 people are not present in any single space at the same time.
This Declaration hereby orders that a restaurant with or without drive-in or drive-through services; drive-in restaurant; drive-through restaurant; or other food service businesses providing food or drink for consumption on the premises (including those ancillary to other uses) may only provide take out, curb-side take out, delivery, drive-in or drive-through services. Food service businesses in medical facilities that would otherwise be open to the public may still operate to serve the medical facility, but shall not be open to the public, except as provided above.
This Declaration hereby limits occupancy of a bar, lounge, or tavern; commercial amusement; theatre; gym; and private club to no more than 10 people.
SECTION 7. The owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is likely to be impacted by these regulations shall post a copy of these regulations onsite and visible to users of the facility and provide a copy to any user of the facility asking for a copy
SECTION 8. If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of these regulations or any application of them 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 these regulations.
SECTION 9. In accordance with Texas Government Code §418.173, a person who knowingly or intentionally violates this declaration commits an offense, punishable by a fine of not less than $50.00 and not more than $2,000.00 or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.
SECTION 10. Any ordinance, order, or regulation that would prevent temporary sheltering and housing by the County of Erath, State of Texas, or the Federal Government in response to the declared disaster are suspended or modified as necessary to make these regulations effective.
Any ordinance or regulation imposing a time requirement for approving or denying an application or for appealing a County Court or Administrative decision is tolled.
Any ordinances or regulations that conflict with these regulations are suspended or modified as necessary to make these regulations effective.
Suspension or modification of the ordinances and regulations shall remain in effect until these regulations are terminated or until the state of disaster is terminated, whichever is sooner.
SECTION 11. That this declaration hereby authorizes the use of all lawfully available enforcement
SECTION 12. This Declaration shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect for seven (7) days.
DECLARED this 19th day of March, 2020.
Alfonso Campos, County Judge
Erath County, Texas