City Responds to Presumptive COVID-19 Case in Bell County
Events cancelled and cleaning measures increased
TEMPLE, TX (March 13, 2020) – With the first presumptive case of COVID-19 announced in Bell County, the City of Temple is following the recommendations of county health officials and beginning to take precautionary measures. The safety of our residents, visitors and City staff remains our highest priority.
City Events Cancelled
The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum has cancelled the Spring Break Train Trip scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, March 14. For those visitors who already bought tickets, all trip costs will be fully refunded. The Temple Parks and Recreation Department has cancelled Paws on the Plaza scheduled for Saturday, March 21, as well as the Bush’s Spring Chicken 10K Run scheduled for Saturday, March 28.
Any planned public meetings or forums where Bell County’s “social distancing” guidelines can be maintained will continue as scheduled.
Cleaning of City Buildings/Staff and Visitor Protection
On Thursday, March 12, City of Temple custodial staff began implementing additional cleaning procedures in all city facilities, to include spraying all public entry way door handles & knobs with an alcohol based, hospital type disinfectant. In addition, custodians and departmental employees have increased the use of foaming disinfectant cleaners as well as disinfecting wipes on commonly touched solid surfaces.
Bottles of hand sanitizer have been placed at heavily trafficked public counters in City facilities, like the City Secretary’s Office, and those counters are being disinfected every few hours. Guidance has been sent to all city departments about proper handwashing techniques while on the job. Facility personnel are also providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to city staff to use at their workstations when requested.
City Services Continue as Normal
The City Manager’s office continues to hold regular cross-departmental meetings to identify and implement key actions to protect the health and safety of residents and city staff. We are beginning to look at ways to modify programs, meetings, trainings and other gatherings to comply with Bell County’s new “social distancing” guidelines. At this time, all city services will continue as normal.
Emergency Management Updates
Temple Fire Chief Mitch Randles, who serves as the head of the city’s emergency management operations, participates in daily conference calls regarding COVID-19 with county, state and federal officials. With Bell County making the decision to stand up their Joint Information Center and hold weekly press briefings, City of Temple emergency management officials will participate as appropriate. We will continue to update residents with the latest developments on our newly-created COVID-19 information page: www.templetx.gov/coronavirus.
Bell County Health District Guidance
Bell County has moved into Stage 2 of their COVID-19 action plan with news of the presumptive local case, urging residents within the county to actively practice “social distancing,” which is maintaining six feet of distance from others whenever possible. They are also asking people to avoid physical contact with others in social and workplace settings.
There have been no reports of community spread in Bell County. The presumptive case in Belton was of a 29-year old man who had recently traveled abroad. However, county health officials are urging all residents to follow these precautions:
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touches objects and surfaces with a disinfectant.
- Don’t travel to areas with active community spread of COVID-19.
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and use hand sanitizers with at least 60% of alcohol content when soap and water are not available.
Public Relations Manager