SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – The Mayor of Hideaway is reassuring the community after a resident died of COVID-19, prompting him to order a shelter in place.
“We were proactive, we are one of the first clubs to close, if you look around east texas and tyler, we were one of the first to go under shelter in place,” said Mayor Ray Hutcheson
Hideaway is known as a retirement community with people 65 years and older.
Elwood McElveen was 91-years-old and the first coronavirus death confirmed in Smith County.
After meeting with Mayor Hutcheson, he wants to make sure the people of Hideaway know that their health and safety come first.
When residents got the news that McElveen passed away from COVID-19, many were concerned.
“I feel like we’ve been very proactive I even told my membership to air on the side of caution as opposed to being the follower. We’ve taken the lead, and other clubs are watching us and deciding what we’re doing they’re doing that,” said Robert James, Hideaway general manager.
Many residents believe the mayor made a smart decision.
“I definitely think it was the right call to make,” one resident said.
But some question if it was soon enough.
“Schools were closed, government entities were closed and people are just carrying on as normal, I mean regardless if someone in our community had just passed the night before,” said another resident.
Residents were notified of McElveen’s passing through email. After consulting with NET Health, the city made the decision to issue a shelter in place order.
“The man who died from the coronavirus was an active member in the community church, which is why the mayor acted quickly and put precautions in place,” said one resident.
Before the golf course was closed down, many residents were outside enjoying the warm weather.
Now the shelter in place mandate will limit activities within the city over the next seven days until April 1.