Angelina County and the city of Lufkin have declared a local state of disaster.
Angelina County Judge Don Lymbery and Lufkin Mayor Bob Brown have each declared a local state of disaster due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The declarations are effective at 11:59 p.m. Friday and will persist through March 27, unless extended by the county commissioners court or the city council for their jurisdictions.
“Today we joined the county and the state in declaring a state of disaster due to a public health emergency,” Brown said. “We took this step specifically to activate the city’s emergency management plan and to proactively prevent the rapid spread of the virus.”
“We are working locally with the city and the Angelina County & Cities Health District to coordinate our efforts,” Lymbery said. “Through the cooperation of our residents listening closely to our public health experts and practicing social distancing protocols, we can reduce our risks all over the county.”
The declaration enacts three regulations while its active:
• Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
• Dine-in services at restaurants are prohibited; restaurants and food services must use take-out, delivery, drive-in or drive-thru services.
• Bars, lounges, taverns, private clubs, gyms, health studios, theaters and commercial amusement facilities are to be closed.
Failure to abide by these regulations may result in a $1,000 fine or confinement in the county’s jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.
The city’s mayoral declaration also authorizes the city to take any actions necessary to promote health and suppress the coronavirus. The declaration again notes that public or private gatherings of more than 10 are to be canceled until further notice. A gathering is defined in the declaration as a scheduled or unscheduled event or common endeavor where 10 persons are present in a confined space, room or area.
Prohibited gatherings do not include the following, as long as those present are generally not within six feet of one another for extended periods:
• Office space, public and private schools, child-care facilities or residential buildings, or any type of temporary sheltering or housing
• Grocery stores or retail establishments where large numbers of people are present, but it is unusual for them to be within six feet of one another for extended periods
• Hospitals and medical facilities
For more information, visit the city of Lufkin’s website or Angelina County’s website. Lufkin Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson can be called at 633-0300 and Angelina County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricky Conner can be called at 634-8731.