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The city of Waxahachie has issued a Disaster Declaration Order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This declaration is effective immediately and will be in effect for the next 30 days.

“We have joined the state of Texas and other local and regional neighbors in taking the proactive measure of issuing a Disaster Declaration. We are working closely with our other local and state level agencies to ensure that all appropriate and necessary measures are taken to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor David Hill.

This measure essentially gives the city of Waxahachie powers to enact certain protective emergency measures that will help to ensure the continued safety and health of our community. The act also allows the city to access reimbursement funding in the event expenses are incurred as a result of COVID-19.

“While as of March 16, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Waxahachie, city leadership feels that these steps are necessary and appropriate to protect the members of our community from this rapidly-spreading virus,” said City Manager Michael Scott. “We also want to reassure our citizens and urge people to remain calm and not panic during this time,” Scott added.

Recommendations to reduce the spread of infection include:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick

• Stay home if you or a family member is sick

• Wash hands thoroughly and often

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

• Rely on verbal greetings instead of handshakes

• Practice social distancing

With this declaration, all community gatherings of 50 or more people shall also be suspended for the next eight weeks (through May 11) per the CDC recommendation. This includes the temporary closure of the following city of Waxahachie facilities: Waxahachie Senior Activity Center, Waxahachie Sports Complex and Waxahachie Civic Center. This order does not prohibit this number of people at businesses, restaurants, retail establishments, places of worship, or private gatherings on private property.

The city and its staff will continue working daily with state and local health officials and authorities to ensure that the latest information and preventative procedures are enacted for the safety of our community. Updates will be provided as they are available on the city website at www.waxahachie.com, as well as the city’s social media accounts.

Editor's note: Updated March 17 with additional information.

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