Mayor Wilcox Issues Informative Statement Explaining COVID Orders & Guidelines


[Winnsboro, TX]  - April 1, 2020  7:56  a.m.


​Winnsboro Texas COVID-19 Update as of 04_01_2020 AM


VERBATIM (WORD FOR WORD)

from Mayor Camron Wilcox, Winnsboro


Update: · Please read the press release issued by Judge Hebron concerning the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Wood County.
· Texas Municipal League Summary of the Governor Abbott’s Order GA-14 and other updates related to COVID-19

***Urgent Updates***
Has the governor issued a new executive order that supersedes his previous social distancing order?

Yes. Today the governor issued a new executive order that supersedes his original social distancing order (GA-08). The new order extends through April 30, 2020. Also, he has closed all Texas schools through May 4, 2020, and that date may be extended.  


"Every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services, minimize social gathering and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.

-Essential services are those defined by TDEM according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

-All Texans should follow the President’s and CDC’s hygiene guidelines.

-All Texans should avoid eating out, but take advantage of carry out and drive-thru restaurants.

-It does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential services, visiting parks, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID- 19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.

-Texans should stay away from nursing homes and similar facilities.

-Schools shall remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance and shall not recommence before May 4, 2020.

Does the governor’s new order supersede local (e.g., city and county) orders?

Yes, at least partially. It clearly supersedes “any conflicting order issued by local officials in response to the COVD-19 disaster, but only to the extent that such a local order restricts essential services allowed by this executive order or allows gatherings prohibited by this executive order.” That means a city may not define essential services differently than TDEM and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have, but even their guidance leaves unanswered questions. It appears that the most significant preemptive effect of the new order is to allow religious gatherings conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship, so long as appropriate social distancing guidelines are followed.


The governor then suspended Section 418.108 of the Texas Government Code (The Texas Disaster Act) and several other laws, some of which are unnamed, “to the extent necessary to ensure that local officials do not impose restrictions inconsistent with this executive order, provided that local officials may enforce this executive order as well as local restrictions that are consistent with this executive order.” Section 418.108 is the core authority for mayors to declare, and city councils to extend, local states of disaster, including movement of persons and occupation of premises. This suspension would appear to mean that a city’s stay home/work home order is superseded by the order’s edict that “every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services, minimize social gathering and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.”

League staff will continue to analyze the order and report further in tomorrow’s update.

Where do we stand right now with regard to federal and state guidance and orders, including the new order in the question above?

The federal government has not “ordered” anything. Instead, President Trump and the Center for Disease Control issued the following guidance, which is in effect through April 30: (1) listen to and follow the direction of your state and local health authorities; (2) if you feel sick, stay home; (3) if someone in your household has tested positive for coronavirus, keep the entire household at home; (4) if you are an older person, stay home and away from other people; (5) if you are a person with a serious underlying health condition putting you at risk, stay home and away from other people; (6) work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible; (7) if you work in a critical infrastructure industry, you have a special responsibility to continue to go to work; (8) avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people; (9) avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts—use drive thrus, pick up, or delivery options; (10) avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits; (11) do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance; and (12) practice good hygiene.

With regard to state-level orders, Governor Abbott has today ordered compliance with the items in the bulleted list in the first question above.

Because the federal government has issued only guidance, the only non-local (e.g. city or county) mandatory restrictions are those imposed by Governor Abbott’s new order.

What action has the governor taken with respect to first responders and testing?

Yesterday, the governor issued the following press release:

Governor Greg Abbott has waived certain statutory provisions to ensure public safety employees who contract COVID-19 during the course of their employment will be reimbursed for reasonable medical expenses related to their treatment of COVID-19. Because the nature of their duties has caused them to increase their risk of contracting COVID-19, the Governor has waived these statutory provisions so that public safety employees who contract COVID-19 are not also financially penalized.

“Texas’ public safety employees are vital to our COVID-19 response,” said Governor Abbott. “These brave men and women are on the front lines and risking potential exposure to keep our communities safe. By waiving these regulations, Texas will ensure that those who may contract COVID-19 will have the support they need to pay for medical expenses.”


While the actual order is not posted on the governor’s website, League staff obtained this language from his office:

In accordance with section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, the Office of the Governor grants DWC’s request to suspend Texas Government Code 607.002(1) and (2) to the extent necessary to allow those public safety employees, who were likely to have been exposed to COVID-19 while in the course of their employment, to be entitled to the reimbursements set forth in 607.002 of the Government Code.



Those subsections provide that:

Sec. 607.002. REIMBURSEMENT. A public safety employee who is exposed to a contagious disease is entitled to reimbursement from the employing governmental entity for reasonable medical expenses incurred in treatment for the prevention of the disease if:

(1) the disease is not an "ordinary disease of life" as that term is used in the context of a workers' compensation claim;

(2) the exposure to the disease occurs during the course of the employment; and

(3) the employee requires preventative medical treatment because of exposure to the disease.


The apparent intent of the order is to remove any impediments to a city providing and paying for testing for its first responders.

***Further Updates***

Has the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool provided COVID-19-specific training for its members?

Yes. TMLIRP’s online learning partner, LocalGovU, is offering timely online learning classes that cover COVID-19, including COVID-19 for Law Enforcement and COVID-19 for Local Government Personnel. These courses are no cost to TMLIRP members.

If your entity has established a TMLIRP online learning center account, the entity’s administrator can assign these courses to employees. LocalGovU has how-to videos on system functions in the online learning center.

If you do not have an account already established for your entity, please go to TMLIRP’s online learning page to request access to the training platform. An entity should assign a training administrator to serve as the contact for the online learning center. Requests for training access will be granted once your account has been verified, usually within 24 to 48 hours. A LocalGovU Customer Success representative will reach out to connect once your account has been verified."


End of Mayor Camron Wilcox's statement

April 1, 2020 a.m.

Link to TMLIRP online learning page:  CLICK HERE.

https://www.localgovu.com/tmlirp/?fbclid=IwAR01czSTX3N0S-sMJE9eXjlMxaVz6kIHAmqbfeQvdyuOsaMr9pAddVZhvgk
 

CORVID-19 UPDATES (SARS-COV2)CLICK HERE for data, press releases, orders, announcements, resources

Mayor Wilcox Update with Wood County Judge Lucy Hebron

County Wide Conference Call from 4-9-20


​Social Media Release – 20200410 10:45 a.m.
Camron Wilcox, Mayor, City of Winnsboro

Winnsboro Texas COVID-19 Update as of 04_10_2020 AM
(Wood County, TX) Judge Hebron’s April 9 Conference Call.

o
Discussion of Wood County City (cities) actions related to stay safe stay home – all cities are following the same procedures and working together to assist in other in the event of need.

o
Medical – testing is available in multiple locations and test reporting is improving. There is still a delay and discrepancy between county reports and state reports as some Wood County residents may go to Tyler, Sulphur Springs or Mt. Pleasant to be tested. This causes delays in receiving the information from the state back to the county.

o
Schools – all schools are engaging in the distance learning and providing lunches eligible students through pickup locations or on bus routes. They are scheduled to reopen May 4, but there seems to be a possibility they will not reopen this year. This has yet to be determined by TEA.

o
Churches – most churches are providing remote services and are active in assisting those in need as well as first responders by making face masks.

o
Emergency Management – EM officials are distributing N95 face masks to the first responders throughout the County. Tully Davidson is coordinating this effort in Wood County.

o
State Legislator and Senator – Our state elected officials are working with the Governor to ensure the adequate flow of equipment and supplies to the “hot spots” as well as what the models are predicting to become the emerging “hot spots.” They are also working resolves some of the issues individuals who have lost their jobs are experiencing with to obtain unemployment benefits.

o
We will continue to meet through this crisis to ensure communication remains open and mutual assistance can be provided when needed.

· April 9 WEDC (Winnsboro) Meeting.

o The WEDC Board elected to continue to use the
Small Town Strong fund as the primary means of support for local businesses. AS you are aware the WEDC made a$10,000 donation when the fund was established. They have instructed me to work with Mineola Community Bank to replenish that fund as it becomes necessary. MCB is managing the distribution of these funds to locally owned/operated small businesses in the Winnsboro area. Applications are available at the MCB drive through and First National Bank Winnsboro Drive through windows. First National Bank, Mineola Community Bank and the Winnsboro Economic Development Corporation are participating partners.

o The Board also requested the Winnsboro EDC and Main Street Staff contact all Winnsboro Businesses to determine their needs at this time. Over the last two weeks staff has contacted businesses providing them information related to local and federal assistance. The WEDC Board instructions to contact them again are well placed and I am instructing staff to make weekly contact with the businesses through the duration of this pandemic and recover to assess their needs and better determine how we can help.

o The Board also requested that the WEDC and Main Street staff contact local non-profits to assess their needs and to determine the status of their planned events for the remainder of this year to see how and if the WEDC could help.

·
April 9 Wood County Economic Development Commission Meeting.

o The Wood County Economic Development Commission (WCEDC) met on Thursday afternoon to discuss how they may assist the small businesses located in the County. We shared city efforts. Information on the
Wood County Economic Development Commission Efforts are posted on their website. https://www.woodcountytx.com/

· Governor Abbott’s Actions
https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-hhsc-announce-emergency-rule-to-increase-supply-of-direct-care-providers-in-nursing-facilities?fbclid=IwAR1RJfDPCwGl59VJRIqAMGj3SKKkZdFBf5IfPs-UFO65ZmaKOlyB2d4EVu8


· NETHealth Report
https://www.nethealthcovid19.org/uploads/blog/6615ee231f24a9aee0da930281a2c5c033273e05.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3woqp3LGn1N4CSaTS28g2h3Qhfg6g_GiA8qCfTcJczerIZH6mN4QL0j98



------------------------------------------------------------

PRESS RELEASE - City of Winnsboro, TX

Stay Home Stay Safe Order 
April 1, 2020   4:48 p.m.

PUBLIC NOTICE
DECLARATION OF LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY FOR WINNSBORO, TEXAS



Pursuant to and in furtherance of the City of Winnsboro Designation of a Local State of Emergency due to a Public Health Emergency, the City of Winnsboro will be following and enforcing the following:

1. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Guidelines including the restrictive social distancing guidelines announced by President Trump on March 29, 2020; and

2. Governor Abbott’s March 31, 2020 Executive Order (GA-14), related to the continuity of essential services and activities, requiring every person in Texas, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not of the same household; and

3. Wood County Judge Lucy Hebron’s April 1, 2020 Amended Order of Declaration of Local Disaster Due to Public Health Emergency for Wood County Texas, Stay Home Stay Safe Order.
These actions will take effect at 11:59 PM, Wednesday April 1, 2020 and will continue through to the date on which the Governor terminates the Texas Disaster Declaration. Copies of these guidelines and orders are attached and available on the
City of Winnsboro Website:  


https://cityofwinnsboro.org/coronavirus---assistance.html


Federal Government Response to Coronavirus (link)


 
IRS, Special COVID - 19 Section (link)  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Data retrieved 4/4/2020

LINKS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE THROUGH TIME

Winnsboro Residents: 
If you are  experiencing  difficulty paying your utility bill, please contact City Hall for possible assistance.

[903-342-3654]
Swepco - COVID-19 Website (link) 
Swepco - Letter to Customers  (link) 
Verizon Wireless (link) 

Winnsboro Businesses:

Employer Info:
Centers for Disease Control Interim Guidance for Business & Employers: Link  (link) 

US Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources – Information for employers/workers: Link  (link) 

US Chamber of Commerce Combating Coronavirus – Workplace tips, Customizable workplace flyer & guidance for employer response: Link  (link) 

US Chamber of Commerce 5 Ways to Retain Your Customers During Coronavirus – Tips to retain customers for your business Link  (link) 

US Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Small Business Guide* Link  (link) 

Google Small Business Tips for Surviving COVID-19* Link  (link) 

US Senate Committee on Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act* Link  (link) 

US Environmental Protection Agency – Approved disinfectants for COVID-19 Link  (link) 

Texas Department of State Health Services Resources & Updates Link  (link) 

Texas Workforce Commission Shared Work Program – Provides partial funding for hourly employees whose hours have been cut due to a slowdown in business Link  (link) 

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business FAQs on COVID-19* Link  (link) 

Internal Revenue Service Tax Filing FAQs* (moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020) Link  (link) 

US Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act Family & Paid Sick Leave FAQs* Link(link) 

FINANCIAL:  
Small Town Strong  Reinvestment Fund (link) 
Winnsboro Main Street Business Assistance Grant(link) 
Texas Workforce Commission – Disaster Unemployment Assistance Link  (link) 

US Small Business Administration (SBA) Guidance & Economic Injury Disaster Loans – Up to $2 million in working capital at very low interest rates to cover operations until normal business resumes
Small Business Administration - Disaster Assistance Loan  (link) 

SBA - Disaster Assistance Loan - Example (link) 

SBA-Disaster Assistance Loan - Update - 03/31/2020
Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
US Chamber of Commerce SBA Loan Program Info
Small Business Administration Express Bridge Loans* – Provides up to $25,000 in advanced supplemental funds for businesses applying for SBA Economy Injury Disaster Loans Link  (link) 

Small Business Paycheck Protection & Loan Forgiveness* – Provides up to $10 million in assistance to small businesses and 501(c)3 nonprofits that is partially forgivable. This includes sole-proprietors, independent contractors and other self-employed individuals. Financing is available for employee wages up to $100,000 and can cover additional expenses, such as rent, utilities, etc. expended between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Can be combined with an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan as long as they go toward separate expenses. SBA Link (link) 

CARES Flow Chart
 US Chamber of Commerce SBA Loan Program Info
Score - A resource partner of the SBA, offering personalized assistance for small businesses (link) 

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - COVID -19 Emergency Response  Page (link) 

Important Updates, Resources & Information for Texas Businesses - Office of the Governor (link) 

Facebook Small Business Grants Program (link) 

The James Beard Foundation Food & Beverage Industry Relief Fund (link) 

Texas Womens University Grant Program to Aid Women's Businesses Hurt by COVID-19 (link) 

Verizon / LISC Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund (link) 

Yelp's COVID-19 Response & Support for Local Businesses (link) 

GoFundMe - Small Business  Relief  Fund  (link) 

Texas Workforce Commission Shared Work Program – Provides partial funding for hourly employees whose hours have been cut due to a slowdown in business Link (link) 

Internal Revenue Service Tax Filing FAQs* (moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020) Link  (link) 

US Department of Labor Families First Coronavirus Response Act Family & Paid Sick Leave FAQs* Link  (link) 

Texas Restaurant Association Restaurant Relief Fund* - Provides a grant up to $5,000 to support the needs of independent restaurants Link  (link) 

Southern Smoke Restaurant Employee Emergency Relief Program* - Provides charitable funds to assist those employed and/or who own restaurants/bars or are restaurant suppliers Link(link) 

REGULATORY:  
Office of Gov. Abbott Executive Order on Restaurants, Bars, Gyms & Senior Living Facilities Link  (link) 

Office of Gov. Abbott Regulation Waiver for Hospitality Industry to Deliver Alcoholic Beverages Link  (link) 

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles – Temporary trucking deregulation Texas DMV Link  Texas Governor’s Office Link(link) 

 
Office of Gov. Abbott Removes Licensing Barriers for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses* Link  (link) 
Office of Gov. Abbott Waives Licensing Regulations for Pharmacists & Technicians* Link (link)  


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