County closes facilities amid COVID-19 pandemic

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County closes facilities amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Melissa Perner
The Ozona Stockman

     Crockett County Commissioners’ Court has formed and Infectious Disease Response Committee during the COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic.
    During Monday’s regular meeting, the commissioners appointed Dr. Marcus Sims, Crockett County EMS Coordinator Eddie Martin, Road Department Supervisor Jeffrey Stuart, Commissioner Frank Tambunga, County Judge Fred Deaton, CCCCSD Superintendent Raul Chavarria and Care Center Director Dewayne Atwood to the committee. There will also two spots for another school representative and Care Center representative.
    At their regular meeting, the commissioners voted to suspend the use of all county sports facilities and practice fields until further notice. This includes youth baseball and youth softball practices and games.
    By the recommendation of the committee, the commissioners voted to close to the public the Crockett County Civic Center, Crockett County Senior Center, Crockett County Public Library, J. Cleo Thompson Wellness Center and the Crockett County Fair Park Convention Center through Monday, March 23.
    The committee and the commissioners will meet again on Monday, March 23, to evaluate the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and decide whether buildings can be reopened or stay closed.
    Employees can work inside the buildings, but the facilities are closed to the public.
    The public library is asking all patrons to use their book drop, a big, blue box, located at the north end of the building to return books.
    Helping Hands will continue to prepare and deliver meals.
On Friday, March 13, Sims closed the Crockett County Care Center to anyone who is not a care center employee or resident.
Nurses and staff will also have temperatures checked and a health screening prior to entering the facility on each shift. Anyone that has a fever is not allowed to come into the building.
Atwood said the center has set up an isolation room in case a resident becomes ill.
“No hugs, no handshakes, no vendors allowed. Residents are also having their temperatures taken daily,” Atwood said.
This protocol is expected to last one to two weeks or longer.
“All that we are doing is trying to prevent the spread,” Sims said. “If it gets in the Care Center, our Care Center will be closed. It won’t be good.”
Right now, no one has tested positive for COVID-19 in Crockett County.
Commissioner Mike Medina was concerned about people or groups that have rented the convention center for private events.
“They have put in a lot of time and money,” Medina said.
Sims said right now he could not recommend any large gatherings.
“A lot of money is going to be lost because of this virus. Sometimes there are unforeseen things that happen,” Sims said.
Bean told Stuart to not take anymore bookings for the convention center.
Medina asked that people who have booked the center for the next few months be notified that the county may have to cancel their event.
“A lot of these venues, if you don’t close them people will still go,” Deaton said.
Martin said the EMS has procedures and precautions in place to deal with patients.
Crockett County Jail was also complying with new regulations from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards that inmate visitations were no longer allowed.
County court for March, April and May have been cancelled. The 112th District Court is calling off anything unnecessary right now.  
The Crockett County Water Office is limiting their office to two customers or vendors at a time for those with no symptoms or illness. They are encouraging everyone to use their drop box outside.
Around Ozona, local businesses were also limiting their hours and closing parts of their locations.
Both Ozona Bank and Crockett National Bank have closed their lobbies. Drive-thru motor bank services are still open.
Dairy Queen and Poco Taco have closed their dining room areas, but drive-thru service remains open.
Ozona was not immune to the panic shopping that occurred over the weekend with people buying all paper goods and cleaning products, and leaving empty shelves.
Dollar General will be closing at 10 p.m., an hour earlier, and senior citizens, and those at-risk, will have priority shopping in the first open hour. Paper products, hand sanitizer and wipes are limited to three per customer.
Lowe’s Grocery Store was expecting a truck delivery Tuesday, March 17, but that was delayed. They are also limiting customers on some paper goods and cleaning products.
“There is absolutely no need to go out and stockpile supplies,” Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday, March 13. “This isn’t the type of situation like where we see with an oncoming hurricane.”
For a full list of closures and postponements, visit www.ozonastockman.com

 

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