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Posted on: March 15, 2020

COVID-19: Resources, closures, and more (updated 4/2/20)

COVID-19 graphic

In recent weeks, everyone in the community has been working tirelessly to keep up with the rapid response to the spread of COVID-19 in North Texas. All steps being taken are meant to safeguard public health, including closure of several city facilities.

All of Denton County, including The Colony, is currently under a "Stay at Home" Order issued by Denton County Judge Andy Eads, which went into effect at 11:59 p.m. March 25. The Order was thereafter extended twice by the Commissioners Court and currently lasts through 11:59 p.m. April 7, at which time they are scheduled to meet again. According to the Order:

  • Residents are encouraged to stay home unless conducting essential activities;
  • Businesses that are deemed "non-essential" by definition of the Order must close temporarily. Business-owners with questions about their status may send an email to businesscovid19@dentoncounty.gov to receive specific guidance. More resources for businesses are available at the bottom of this page.

The Order followed action on March 23 by The Colony City Council, which unanimously approved a resolution continuing and renewing the Mayoral Declaration of a Local Disaster in response to COVID-19. The declaration went into effect immediately and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. April 22, whereupon such date the City Council shall reassess. The updated declaration incorporates previous orders from Denton County and the Governor’s Office, while also accounts for future provisions of any Executive Order or directive issued by the President of the United States, the Governor of the State of Texas, or the County Judge of Denton County.

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FACILITIES: CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 22

SERVICES, MEETINGS, SPECIAL EVENTS

  • The City-Wide Spring Clean-Up, scheduled for April 18 at Hawaiian Falls has been cancelled. It will not be rescheduled. Keep watch for information about the annual Fall Clean-Up later in the year.
  • Special events through the end of April are cancelled, including Movies in the Park (4/3 and 4/24); the Spring Eggstravaganza (4/9); and Up, Up and Away (5/2). The Coach Cox Kids Chase by the Lake is being postponed to Sept. 12, 2020.
  • The Colony Fire Department is cancelling all scheduled public education and public relation events to ensure adequate emergency preparedness and response capability through the end of the month. In addition, all fire department facilities are closed to walk-ins and visitors. If someone arrives to a fire station with a medical emergency, they are instructed to call 9-1-1 or use the public phone in the lobby at each fire station. 
  • Monthly tests of the Outdoor Emergency Warning System are suspended so as not to cause confusion. However, there will still be brief "quiet" tests and siren rotation every Wednesday at noon. 
  • The Colony Police Department is NOT pulling over drivers and asking for work documentation in light of Denton County’s current "Stay at Home" Order. If an Officer makes a stop, it will be for an observed traffic violation or investigation of another criminal offense. They will, however, encourage the community to voluntarily comply with the Order as they conduct daily operations. Also, the lobby at Police Headquarters is closed to the public.
  • All Board and Commission meetings (with the exception of The Colony City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Economic Development Corp. Board and Community Development Corp. Board) are postponed. Residents are encouraged to watch public meetings online where applicable and submit citizens-input of public interest or regarding agenda items to The Colony City Secretary Tina Stewart.
  • Permitting services will continue electronically for general applications, signs and fences. All other permits can be accepted in the utility-billing drive-through on the north side of City Hall or by appointment only if necessary.
  • Planning services will continue either electronically or by appointment only.
  • Trash & Recycling collection services will continue as normal. Bulk/Green Waste Collection, however, is moving from Mondays to Saturdays, starting April 11. Also, in a measure designed to help safeguard Republic employees, residents are asked to bag and tie their bulk-collection items (whenever possible) in bags not exceeding 50 pounds starting April 11.
  • Simple Recycling, the curbside clothing and textile recycling service, has temporarily suspended operations.

HEALTH GUIDANCE

As we have from the beginning, we encourage our residents to follow public-health best practices regarding the spread of infectious diseases as outlined by Denton County Public Health and the CDC:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose to reduce the spread of germs
  • Wash hands thoroughly and often
  • Avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth.

Denton County Public Health is also offering a hotline for residents to call for information about COVID-19. The number is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 940-349-2585. Additional resources: 

Facemasks: Wear a facemask if you are sick. If you are not sick, you do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers, first-responders, and medical professionals.

Pets: According to the CDC, there is no reason to think that any animals, including pets in the United States, might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date (3/11/20), CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. For more information on the benefits of pet ownership, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.

Pools & hot tubs: There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

Chloroquine phosphate: The CDC has issued a health alert warning against the use of non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate to treat COVID-19. Chloroquine phosphate, when used without a prescription and supervision of a healthcare provider, can cause serious health consequences. More information.

More information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/

MENTAL HEALTH

Resources are available via the Denton County MHMR Center. The crisis hotline is 800-762-0157. For more information, visit their website.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has also established toll-free mental health support line for those experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic: 833-986-1919.

The North Texas Behavioral Health Authority is offering a hotline for anyone to call who may be experiencing stress and anxiety during this time of crisis. The number is 833-251-7544. It will be active as of noon Monday, March 23.

INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES

As of March 20, Texas small businesses can now apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the US SBA. Also, The Colony Economic Development Corp. has compiled a Business Retention Coronavirus Recovery Checklist which will help with guidelines for the immediate actions a local business should take during this time.

Also, Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is offering a program to assist Texas, woman-owned businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19

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City statement March 3, 2020

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