Marlin operates through disaster proclamation
During a special meeting of the Marin City Council on March 17, the City of Marlin was declared as in a state of disaster by Mayor Carolyn Lofton, but that has not stopped business in Marlin.
The Proclamation of Local Disaster For Public Health Emergency was read at the meeting, stating that “extraordinary measures must be taken to contain COVID-19 and prevent its spread throughout the City.”
The proclamation limits community gatherings to less than 10 people for the next 30 days and forces restaurants to operate on a take out capacity only.
In a facebook post released the next morning, Mayor Lofton announced all of the ways that the city will still continue to run in this time of global chaos.
She and other city officials have been working with area business leaders and government entities to determine how to best move the entire community through this panic, including the Falls County Emergency Management Coordinator, Falls County Judge, the Sheriff’s Office and Hospital Staff.
“We initiated and discussed options for ensuring public safety and minimizing unnecessary movement,” the post read. “We must minimize movement, limit exposure, and minimize risks to vulnerable populations which includes our older adults.”
The group assessed resources currently within the community and created a list of needed resources in the event of an outbreak.
“We learned that our community significantly lacks the resources needed to handle a major outbreak here,” Lofton states. ”While we have some resources, we do not have enough to handle a mass crisis.”
She has submitted a full list of needed resources to Governor Greg Abbott’s office, but the request does guarantee fulfillment or a quick turnaround of needed resources.
City Hall is operating on a lockdown until further notice. Appoints must be made for entry at one person per appointment. Individuals entering the building will need to sanitize their hands and/or wear gloves and possibly, a mask.
Anyone exhibiting signs of infection not be allowed into the facility in order to protect city workers and their families from the risk of exposure. In-person requests for access to City Hall will be screened for relevance and scheduled according to importance.
Marlin ISD is closed at minimum an additional week. Alternative education plans are available from Marlin ISD through google classroom and printed packets. Please see www.marlinisd.org for more information.
All payments for city services will be accepted through the drive-thru window and the drop box. Payments can be made by check, money order, or credit card at the window or online.
City council meetings will be conducted via an online platform during this time. Attorney General Ken Paxton has suspended the rules of the Open Meetings Act to allow meetings to occur while honoring the social distancing directive and allowing individuals to remain home. A link for the meeting will be included in the posting. Individuals wanting to be a part of these meetings will need to download the software and sign up for a free account with Zoom. Participants will be muted during the meeting unless recognized to speak.
Municipal court proceedings have been postponed for the proclaimed 30-day period. Payment due dates for fines, etc. have been extended.
Water services will not be suspended for delinquency at this time, but past due amounts will have to be paid when the crisis has subsided. Payment plans will be available for both past due amounts and current bills at that time.
Lockdown procedures have been initiated at the Falls County Jail.
All 911 calls will be screened for potential risk of exposure to the virus in order to inform emergency personnel what steps to take. You will be asked a few short questions to determine if you have been exposed to the virus or are having symptoms related to the virus. Do not call 911 for symptom issues. See below for other options.
The Center for Disease Control website has resources available to help individuals understand the virus, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself from it. Updates are posted daily, if not multiple times a day, on developments and everchanging standards. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/ for more information.
Falls Community Hospital and Clinic has put a number of screening procedures in place upon arrival to the facility. They have also set up hotlines for community members to call and report symptoms before arriving. They even have a system in place where nurses will meet you at your vehicle to conduct screenings in order to limit exposure to elderly patients housed in the facility. As of Monday, no more visitors are being allowed at Falls Community Hospital. FCHC COVID-19 hotline: (254) 252-9387. FCHC COVID-19 Clinic Provider: (254) 252-2491.
Staff at Golden Years Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center have agreed to answer questions by phone regarding symptoms and exposure. They can also provide other information regarding potential risk of infection and what steps to take next.
All group meetings have been cancelled or postponed in order to abide by the social distancing order. Lofton met with area restaurant owners and pastors to discuss the regulations put in place, relating that any business or organization who violates it is subject to a fine. The situation will be monitored by the Marlin Police Department and the Falls County Sheriff’s Office
In-restaurant dining is not allowed. Restaurants must operate by drive-through or pick up only. There were no reports of closed restaurants at the time of publication.
Local churches and places of worship must adhere to a 10 person or less directive. They are required to sanitize sanctuaries both before and after services and perform temperature testing upon entry of individuals. This is to prevent the spread of potential infection.
Dave Scruggs, from Marlin’s FM 96.7, has agreed to allow ministers to use the radio platform to conduct church services within a time slot. This allows for worship to continue while encouraging minimal movement and social distancing, particularly for our older adult parishioners.
For other organizations and groups wanting to meet virtually, there are free conference numbers available online as well as zoom.com for video conferencing.
The proclamation states that “individuals, groups of individuals, or property” may ‘potentially undergo additional measures to prevent or control the spread of disease.’
The proclamation gives City Manager Cedric Davis, Fire Chief Justin Parker, and/or Police Chief Lawrence McCall the ability to quickly enact any other methods they deem fit in order to protect the health and welfare of the public.
Mayor Lofton urges community members who have travelled outside of their normal radius to self-isolate for 14 days.
“Let’s protect each other,” she pledged to the online forum. “We are our brother’s keepers. We are and always will be one community and one family with one goal.”