In response to COVID-19, The Colony Mayor Joe McCourry signed a local disaster declaration for the City of The Colony on March 17, 2020, effective for seven days. The declaration limits the size of gatherings to no more than 50 people.
UPDATE: The City Council renewed and amended this declaration on March 23, 2020.
On behalf of The Colony City Council and City Administration, I wish to assure you that nothing is more important than the health and safety of our residents. We have been closely monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 and the coronavirus for several weeks, and we share your concerns. It has been our intent from the beginning to keep you as informed as possible of vital information from official public health authorities while hoping to minimize the potential for panic and/or overreaction.
Unprecedented times, however, call for unprecedented action. On March 13, Judge Andy Eads issued a disaster declaration for Denton County. This closely followed similar declarations on the state and federal levels. In turn, I signed a local disaster declaration for the City of The Colony on March 17, lasting through March 24. The declaration will be considered by the City Council in an emergency session in order to extend these dates.
These declarations enact provisions of state, county and local emergency management plans that support and enable governments at all levels to take the necessary steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. Doing so can help prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed by sudden spikes in cases of the disease.
On March 15, we closed the Recreation Center and the Community/Senior Center through the end of the month. All related programs and activities were cancelled, including Parks & Recreation special events through the end of April. On March 17, we closed the Public Library and cancelled its programs and activities, followed thereafter by closing public access to City Hall.
These steps are not taken lightly but out of an abundance of caution and as a means of necessary “social distancing,” which are actions meant to limit large gatherings of people. Additional safety measures may be implemented in the coming days and weeks. Watch the city’s website, www.TheColonyTx.gov, for future updates.
While “social distancing” is a critical component of slowing the spread of COVID-19, the City of The Colony is not shutting down. Our first-responders are answering calls. Public Works employees are showing up to do their jobs each and every day. Our utility customers can still access their accounts online or utilize the drive-through on the north side of City Hall. Our Public Library has a wealth of online resources that remain available 24/7/365 at www.thecolonypl.org, and our Permitting Office will continue processing requests by appointment. These are just a few examples of how important functions of city business remain ongoing.
But for now, we continue to receive daily updates from state and county health departments with the latest information and guidance regarding the coronavirus. We also encourage everyone to continue following the best practices for infectious disease prevention as outlined by Denton County Public Health (DCPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Wash hands thoroughly and often
- Avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose to reduce the spread of germs
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
As the saying goes, information is power. I urge our residents to empower themselves by keeping apprised of the latest updates from DCPH and the CDC regarding the spread and impact of COVID-19. According to the health authorities, seniors 65 and up and those with underlying health conditions are the most susceptible to complications from this disease. The actions we all take now and in the near future, whether closing a facility or washing our hands with regularity, are all designed to protect those most vulnerable among us. We will get through this challenging time – together.
Mayor Joe McCourry