Muleshoe City Council extends disaster declaration with added amendmentswebmaster March 27, 2020 0 COMMENTS
By Ellysa Harris
For The Journal
The Muleshoe City Council has extended a declaration of local state of disaster put in place last week in an effort stop the spread of COVID-19.
The Council met for a special meeting on Tuesday night and approved the extension of the declaration until Mayor Cliff Black deems it OK to terminate it. There’s no time limit as to how long it could stand.
The initial declaration discouraged citizens from congregating in groups of 50 people or more, in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention at that time. That number has since changed to discourage groups of 10 people or more. The CDC also now recommends canceling any gatherings that may violate that guideline. This applies to all events and/or activities but excludes houses of worship and educational institutions, as per state and federal government guidelines. Those institutions, however, are encouraged to comply.
New guidelines included in the resolution passed on Tuesday also give the City authority to promote health and take other precautionary measures to stop the potential spread of COVID-19. These measures include quarantine of any individuals and who may have come in contact with or contracted the virus, ensuring that all occupied structures and medical facilities are adhering to the guidelines and, if it comes to it, monitoring who goes in and out of the city.
“At this point we are not monitoring this, however it gives us the ability should the need arise,” wrote Zanea Carpenter, city secretary of Muleshoe, in an email to The Journal.
The amended declaration also gives local law enforcement authority to enforce compliance. This can include a fine of up to $1,000 and/or jail time of up to 180 days.
“Again, we hope that folks will follow the precautions and that we don’t have to get to this point,” Carpenter noted.
The last section of the declaration also allows flexibility for Mayor Black to add any other directives that are deemed necessary.
According to Carpenter, some citizens have been tested for the virus but as of Wednesday afternoon, nobody had tested positive.