LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – The City of Lufkin has issued a ‘Stay-home, stay-safe’ order to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
The order goes into effect Thursday, April 2 at 11:59 p.m.
The decision comes after Angelina County & Cities Helath District awaits the test results of nearly 70 symptomatic people, according to the city’s Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson.
“This isn’t a problem that’s affecting New York or California. It’s here in Lufkin and all around us,” Williamson said. “It will continue to get worse until we change our behaviors. It’s hard to do because it affects everything in our lives, but it’s what we’ve got to do.”
Under the order, travel is permitted for essential activities, government functions, or to operate essential businesses. Non-essential businesses are required to close.
The order also establishes a city-wide curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Essential workers are permitted to travel outside this time but must have an identification card or documentation on company letterhead showing they work for an essential business.
Outdoor activites like jogging, biking, boating, and fishing are allowed as long as proper social distancing is mainainted.
Basketball goals will be removed and playground equipment will be roped off to prevent the spread of the coronavirus according to Assistant City Manager Jason Arnold.
“I’m a parks- and-rec guy at heart, so limiting recreational activities for anyone is heartbreaking, but we have to keep people safe,” Arnold said. “The more restrictive we are now, the sooner we can all get back to doing what we love.”
Other items addressed by the order:
- Every hospital, physician, health care provider or public health authority must notify the city’s Emergency Management Operations Center within 4 hours of any suspect (person under investigation i.e. “PUI”) or positive case of COVID-19. Emergency management officials will release information to the public (gender, age, believed contamination source), while protecting the patient’s identity, in the name of public safety.
- Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who lives in a home with someone who has tested positive must isolate themselves in their home until they test negative or are cleared by their doctor.
- No gatherings (parties or get-togethers including but not limited to crawfish boils, baby showers, birthday parties, anniversary parties, wedding showers or weddings) of any kind are permitted regardless of the number of attendees.
- No in-restaurant dining is allowed. Restaurants can continue with take-out and curbside service for customers.
- Religious services may only be delivered by video or teleconference. If a production team is necessary, it must be comprised of 10 or less asymptomatic (i.e. “not showing any signs or symptoms of illness”) church employees.
- All elective medical, surgical or dental procedures must be postponed or cancelled.
- Funeral services may only be conducted at the graveside and are limited to immediate, asymptomatic family members maintaining proper distance.
- Essential businesses must maintain a safety plan which is to include the store’s cleaning of high-touch surfaces and how they intend to enforce patron limitations based on the business’ square footage – 1 person per 1,000 square feet.
- Only one member of a household may enter a retail business at one time – unless the person is the caregiver of a child with no alternative childcare or if the person is handicapped and requires the assistance of a caregiver.
- Essential businesses must also screen and monitor their employees for symptoms of the virus and not allow symptomatic (i.e. “sick”) employees to work.
- Nursing homes are required to prohibit non-essential visitors from accessing their facilities.