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Milam County Declared Local State of Disaster


March 19,2020

Milam County Judge Declares Countywide State of Disaster - Effective at midnight tonight.

The effects of this declaration will:
1. Limit the services of bars and restaurants to curbside/takeout service only - the dining areas will be closed to customers.
2. Restrict persons 18 years of age and younger from public areas between the hours of 9:00 pm and 6:00 am.
3. Urges citizens (does not absolutely require) to shelter in place.
4. Closure of Public and Private schools in Milam County for no more than seven days or through March 26, 2020 unless extended or reduced by order of the Milam County Commissioner's Court.
5. Restricts the social gathering of more than 10 persons within Milam County - to include service organizations, church functions, sporting events, gym/fitness centers, civic functions or any other activities in which more than ten persons would congregate in one specific area under a common goal or social reason. The exclusion being persons gathered together for "business activities" or other "essential services".

Please remember that this is a temporary order and the intention is to protect citizens. Models of the power of "Social Distancing" have shown that a virus can be greatly contained with 50 to 75 percent less exposure than under normal social conditions. I believe that the numbers reflected that over 30 days one infected person could potentially infect 406 more people, however if an infected person had cut their social activity in half they would have only infected about 15 persons after 30 days. However with a 75% less social exposure over 30 days the models reflected that only about 3 additional people would become infected.

The updates from the Health Department have indicated that although there are zero confirmed cases in Milam County, we are still awaiting the results of five persons who were tested on Monday. The Health Department believes that there are citizens in Milam County who have been exposed to COVID-19, and they believe that it is not a matter of IF anyone tests positive but WHEN people are going to start testing positive for it. So I believe that the type of "Social Distancing" described above will keep the vast majority of Milam County safe from COVID-19 if we just stick to it for a short period of time.

Emergency Services including Sheriff, Police, Fire and EMS are always available and will be working together as we always have, to help minimize the local impact this will have on all of us. Additionally, under this declaration, there are avenues of reimbursements at the State and Federal level for costs or monetary losses as a result of COVID-19. Hopefully we will be able to publish details of how to seek those reimbursements in the near future.