Lufkin strengthens emergency order at request of medical community
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE)- From the City of Lufkin:
The City of Lufkin is modifying its emergency order at the urging of the local medical community.
Earlier today, the medical community made an appeal to city leaders asking for more restrictions due to an influx of patients with COVID-19-like symptoms.
While the county currently only has one Centers for Disease Control confirmed case, results are pending for an unknown number of swabs. The medical community believes that once those pending results are back, we will see the number of Angelina County cases rise.
The modified order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow.
“The modified order is being done because of the increase in symptoms and issues that our local healthcare providers are seeing,” City of Lufkin Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson said. “This order should decrease the rate of infection which apparently has not been affected enough by our current order.”
To limit the opportunity for community spread, the city’s emergency order has been modified in the following ways:
Travel is only allowed for the following purposes:
- To and from work/child-care
- To pick up groceries/supplies from a store
- To pick up take-out food
- To pick up medication
- To seek medical care
- Religious activities/funerals (groups of no more than 10; six-foot distance)
Businesses that are open to the public must enforce the following requirements and develop a written plan for enforcing the requirements:
- Maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals inside and outside the businesses
- Regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces within the business
- Employees displaying any of the following symptoms are not allowed to work – fever, dry cough, shortness of breath
The modification includes the original restrictions:
- No gatherings of more than 10 people
- No dine-in services for restaurants
- The closure of bars, lounges, taverns, private clubs, gyms, health studios, theaters and commercial amusement facilities
Violating these terms carries a fine up to $1,000 or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.
This is different than a “shelter-in-place” order because it doesn’t shutter additional businesses, nor does it confine citizens to their homes.
“A shelter in place literally shuts down all but essential businesses and activities,” Lufkin City Attorney Bruce Green explained. “What we are doing allows more movement.”
Williamson said he trusts that citizens will respect the modified order, as they have the city’s original order.
“We trust that the public will do the right thing and comply with this so hopefully we can all be through this healthy, and sooner rather than later,” he said.
The full order (which is pertinent for businesses to review) can be read on the city’s website. Additional business plan instruction can we found there as well at cityoflufkin.com.
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