On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Athens City Council extended the mayor's Declaration of Local Disaster Due to Public Health Emergency until the council takes action to cancel it.
This is not a new declaration, just an extension of what already existed.
Here is the current declaration:
DECLARATION OF LOCAL DISASTER
DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY
WHEREAS the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus, now designated COVID-19, as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019; and
WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe illness and cause further complications including death; and
WHEREAS, the 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, the continued worldwide spread of COVID-19 presents an imminent threat of widespread illness, which requires emergency action for the protection of the people of Athens, Texas; and
WHEREAS, the implementation of mitigation strategies can slow the transmission of the disease; and
WHEREAS, the Small Business Association (SBA) has designated COVID-19 as a qualifying event for the provision of Economic Injury Disaster Loans for businesses and private non-profits in affected communities.
WHEREAS, this Declaration activates the City’s Emergency Management plan; and
WHEREAS, the Mayor of Athens, Texas has determined that extraordinary measures must be taken to mitigate the effects of this public health emergency and to facilitate the efficient, rapid, and cooperative response to the emergency;
THEREFORE, Be it Declared by the Mayor of Athens, Texas that;
A local state of disaster is hereby declared for Athens, Texas pursuant to §418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code.
This declaration of a local state of disaster shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the County Clerk, pursuant to §418.108 (c) of the Government Code.
The City of Athens Declaration Plan incorporates the Governor’s Executive Order GA-08 and any Orders issued by the Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) pertaining to COVID-19 and all amendments or additional orders related thereto.
This declaration of a local state of disaster activates the City of Athens Emergency Plan.
Pursuant to Tex. Gov. Code §418.173, failure to comply with an emergency plan or with a rule, order, or ordinance adopted under the plan, including any executive order, proclamation, or regulation issued by the Governor during a state disaster or by the Mayor or City Council during a local disaster, is an offense punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000, confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days, or both fine and confinement.
This Declaration shall take effect immediately from and after its issuance and shall remain in effect until the City Council of the City of Athens takes additional action.
ORDERED this the 23rd day of March 2020.