The Lewisville City Council on Friday unanimously extended the disaster declaration for a public health emergency, originally signed by Mayor Rudy Durham on March 13, during a first-of-its-kind videoconference meeting.
The extended emergency declaration due to the COVID-19 disease outbreak will be in effect through 11:59 p.m. April 6 but can be continued or renewed based on a risk assessment at that time.
The City Council acknowledged by resolution that emergency orders related to the disease outbreak by Denton County Judge Andy Eads and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, and executive orders by Gov. Greg Abbott, do apply in Lewisville. This includes:
* Residents are prohibited from having community gatherings of 50 or more people, and are prohibited from having recreational and social gatherings of 10 or more people.
* The complete temporary closure of bars, lounges, taverns, private clubs, arcades, and gyms.
* All restaurants, microbreweries, micro distilleries, and wineries may only provide takeout, delivery, or drive-through services.
* People shall not visit nursing homes, retirement facilities, or long-term care facilities except to provide critical assistance.
* Anyone attempting to enter a city of Lewisville facility, including employees and members of the public, may be asked to have their temperature checked before entering; anyone showing fever or other symptoms, or declining to be checked, will be denied entry.
* The City Council orders that the enforcement of section 16-327 (Discontinuation for nonpayment of water services) of the Lewisville City Code shall be suspended during the term of this resolution. When this emergency declaration ends, any unpaid balances will need to be paid.
* The City of Lewisville approves funding up to $40,000 to the United Way of Denton County COVID-19 Relief Fund. This money will be used for eviction avoidance for Lewisville residents who have experienced income or job loss directly related to COVID-19. On Thursday, March 19, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order halting all eviction proceedings statewide through at least April 19.
* City Council approved changes to the City’s employee leave policies to comply with provisions of the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress earlier this week.
* All Texas schools shall temporarily close.
“I understand why people are worried or frightened right now. We’ve never been through anything quite like this, at least not in my lifetime,” said Mayor Rudy Durham. “These are uncharted waters, and I am proud of how well our city staff has worked to safely navigate through them. Now is the time for caution, not panic. I urge all Lewisville residents – and all Texans – to take this situation seriously, to practice responsible personal protections and to exercise social distancing as much as possible. If we all work together, we will come out of this a smarter and better community.”
Friday’s meeting was the first time the Lewisville City Council met by videoconference. This process was allowed by the recent action of Governor Abbott to temporarily relax some provisions of the Open Meetings Act as a way to adhere to social distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Three members of the Lewisville City Council were in the Council Chambers, one member was in a separate office within City Hall, and two members connected from remote locations.
The City of Lewisville will continue using this videoconference system for all council and board meetings during this current public health emergency. The system does allow members of the public to observe the meeting and to make comments on agenda items.
In an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, the city of Lewisville has closed all city facilities. To see the list of closures, visit cityoflewisville.com/COVID19. These facilities are tentatively scheduled to reopen April 6. However, given the rapidly changing impacts of COVID-19, the city will continue to reassess the situation and adjust as necessary. All Lewisville residents and businesses are urged to follow social distancing protocols for the safety and health of the entire community.
Visitors to that site also will find a link to several city, county, and state resources for anyone personally or professionally impacted by the COVID-19 disease outbreak.
Beginning Monday, city employees will be answering the main city phone number, 972-219-3400, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays to answer questions and connect callers with the appropriate offices. Spanish-speaking calltakers will be available.
Denton County Public Health is now operating a call center for Denton County community members needing more information about COVID-19. You can reach the team at 940-349-2585 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., for information or to get questions answered.
The call center team will not be able to provide diagnosis or individual clinical advice. If you are ill, contact your healthcare provider.
Residents should watch the city website (cityoflewisville.com) and our social media channels for any additional announcements.