The town of Little Elm has joined other municipalities across North Texas in taking action to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.
Tuesday the Town Council issued a declaration of a local state of disaster, effective through March 30.
Among other things the declaration activates the town's emergency management plan and authorizes the town to take any actions necessary to promote the health and suppress the virus. Erin Mudie, the town's communications manager, said that could include the town requiring businesses to close, an option other municipalities have.
“At this point, there have been no town-mandated closures of bars or restaurants,” Mudie said. “However, some have taken steps to close their dining rooms to the public and are offering drive-thru or carryout service only. In general, we are asking individuals to use common sense and social distancing to reduce their risk and the risk to others.”
Monday the town closed a number of public facilities, including the Brenda Button Mills Senior Recreation Center, the recreation center and the public library until April 1.
All athletic fields are closed, and the annual Mayor's Fitness Challenge has been postponed.
Town hall is closed to the public. Permitting, utility billing and other online payments must be done at littleelm.org.
The municipal court will reset scheduled hearings for March to April 1. The town will send out notifications via mail and text message to those who are affected. Citations can be paid at the town's website.
“At this point regarding the April 1 closure day, we do expect it to extend as the situation develops,” Mudie said. “We are working to stay fluid, continually assess, and be responsive to the recommendations and guidance given by the DCHS and State Health Services Department.”
Parks and trails are open, but town officials encourage residents to use social distancing.
For the police department, station tours, the Citizens Police Academy, Police Explorers and Chai with the Chief have been postponed.
For the fire department, the Citizens Fire Academy, Fire Explorers and station tours have also been postponed.
Animal service officers will work normal hours, but residents wishing to reclaim a pet, drop off a stray animal or adopt a pet must make an appointment at 972-377-1898.