Local Health Authority recommends 25% occupancy

Courthouse to reopen on May 4

On April 30, Falls County Judge Jay Elliott announced that the Falls County Courthouse annex would be reopening as of May 4.

He is following advice from both Governor Greg Abbott and Dr. Karlan Downing.

“I have had multiple meetings with Dr. Downing, who is the Falls County Local Health Authority to discuss the COVID 19 coronavirus epidemic and the process of reopening businesses such as retail, dine-in restaurants, theaters, shopping malls, museums, and libraries,” he said in a press release. 

Downing specializes in emergency medicine and has been practicing for over 45 years.

Emergency medicine is defined as ‘the medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of unforeseen illness or injury’ by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

According to Elliott, her expertise is essential during times of general emergency or pandemics.

In the release, it was also announced that  though the Falls County Courthouse will be reopening, the Falls County businesses should remain at observing a rule 25 percent occupancy  versus the 50 percent occupancy set forth for counties with 5 confirmed cases or less.

“The Falls County Local Health Authority and the other health care professionals that I rely on in this battle to contain COVID 19 are not comfortable in opening the occupancy restriction to 50% on 1 May 2020,” Elliot stated.

He encouraged citizens to continue following proper social distancing 

“Our current practices of social distancing, avoiding crowds, and using good hygiene are working,” he observed. “Let’s continue to take steps to avoid exposure to infection.”

“No one wants to go backwards in the fight to contain COVID 19.” the Judge continued. “Let’s move forward utilizing data and advice from doctors.”

Governor Abbott will hold a press conference on May 11 to let the public know the next steps and whether he believes the 25 percent occupancy rule is working. If that is the case, he has stated he may allow for 50% occupancy for all counties within the state.

“Any future Executive Order could change how Falls County and Texas will respond to the continuing COVID 19 epidemic,” stated Elliott.

Those needing to access courthouse services will be expected to sanitize their hands upon entry and continue to follow proper social distancing measures set out by each office. There will be markers on the floor to ensure procedures are clear.

Head to www.co.falls.tx.us for more information.

The Marlin Democrat

251 Live Oak St
Marlin, TX 76661
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