The cities of Allen, Frisco, Plano and McKinney joined Collin County Monday in making formal declarations designed to curtail the spread of COVID-19.
Collin County Judge Chris Hill announced a formal disaster declaration for Collin County Monday, "to better position and prepare the county and its communities to respond to the public health emergencies that may arise from the coronavirus outbreak."
The judge's disaster declaration comes in the wake of similar announcements on Friday from President Donald Trump and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
“Since the first news of the coronavirus outbreak, Collin County has been working diligently with the State of Texas and our local cities to prepare for this eventuality. We stand ready to partner with and support our communities in any way necessary,” said Hill, whose statutory duties include serving as the county’s emergency management coordinator. “We all have to work together to safeguard the health of our community. This declaration ensures that we are able to access and share strategic resources and supplies as they become available.”
All non-essential court operations in the county are postponed until April 1 and all visitsto the Collin County Detention Facility are canceled (attorneys permitted); essential proceedings defined by court order will continue. Other county offices remain open and operational. All county board and commission meetings are canceled until March 31.
The Collin County Health Department said Monday there are eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 82 others being monitored.
The mayors of Allen, Frisco, McKinney and Plano, working in cooperation with Judge Hill, issued similar declarations today by declaring public health emergencies. Details on those declarations can be found below.
In Frisco, the Frisco Athletic Center is closed through March 27; The Grove at Frisco Commons is closed through April 13 (meal program continues for members in need and online classes continue); City parks and recreation facilities, including ball fields, closed through March 27 (parks and trails remain open); City-run sports leagues suspended through March 27; City-sponsored events suspended through March 27; Frisco Public Library closed through March 27 (drive-through pick up open); Frisco municipal court is proceeding through their docket as normal; all special event applications and facility
rentals will be offered refunds of deposit and/or fees.
“Emergency declarations at the national, state and county levels are unprecedented, and Frisco is doing our part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. But we can’t do this alone,” said Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney. “Because this health crisis is dynamic, changing daily, our plans will likely evolve, too, so we need your help. For some, tensions and anxiety may be high. So please practice calm and kindness during this extraordinary time and we will get through this together. In the meantime, our first responders and other city staff will be working around the clock to help ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community.”
In Plano, the following changes go into effect at 5 p.m. Monday: The City of Plano will activate the Emergency Operations Center and will operate during normal business hours. All Parks and Recreation facilities are closed until March 27; all library facilities are closed until March 27; all sports leagues in Plano will be suspended through March 27 for practice and play; All meetings at the Plano Event Center, Special Events, and Facility rentals will be offered refunds of deposit and/or fees for events.
“This is an important declaration for a serious and changing situation,” said Plano City Manager Mark Israelson. “Plano, our neighboring cities and Collin County all recognize the importance of prudent and proactive actions at this time. We need all citizens and businesses to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
In McKinney, city leaders have made several changes to its facilities’ operations and programming. As this information is ever-changing, officials recommend residents visit mckinneytexas.org/closures for the latest changes.
“I am convinced that the risks of under-reacting are so much greater than the risks of overreacting, and although we hope for the best, we must be prudent and plan for the worst,” said Mayor George Fuller. “It is going to take all of us, working together, to ensure that we put the health and safety of our community above all else, and I have no doubt that is what we will do.”
While the city has established a dedicated COVID-19 web page at mckinneytexas.org/coronavirus, all residents are highly encouraged to follow the Collin County Health Care Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the most current updates and recommendations relating to COVID-19.
“We are all in this together, and that is how we are the absolute strongest,” said Fuller.
In Allen, community gatherings of more than 250 people are now prohibited. This applies to gatherings which are likely to bring together 250 people or more at the same time in a single confined or enclosed space, such as restaurants, theaters, churches/houses of worship, stadiums and meeting halls. All city recreation and library facilities will remain closed to the public until further notice, and all activities canceled. Refunds will be offered on impacted events, classes and activities. All adult sports leagues are postponed until further notice. Youth sports leagues organized by Allen Sports Association have already been canceled until March 29. All city board and commission meetings, except for Allen City Council, Allen Planning & Zoning and any other meeting required by law are postponed until further notice. All citizens are encouraged to watch City Council meetings online and submit comments of public interest or comments on agenda items electronically after agendas are posted.
“We appreciate the cooperation of Allen citizens, businesses and organizations and our neighboring communities as we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said City Manager Eric Ellwanger.
Updates to this evolving situation will be posted online at CityofAllen.org/Coronavirus.
How to Avoid COVID-19 Infection:
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
*Information shared from the Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott