Information & Updates on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
With the City of Temple falling under the mandatory “shelter in place” order issued by Bell County on March 23, most city services will continue to remain available to residents online and by phone, but non-essential services will no longer be provided by appointment. Essential services such as emergency response, trash pick-up and roadway repairs will continue to be performed as safely as possible. Click here to view the city's latest press release.
All City facilities remain closed to public walk-in traffic. The safety of our residents and staff is paramount, and by minimizing public contact and fully implementing social distancing guidelines, the City of Temple hopes to limit risk while continuing to provide the important services our citizens depend on. City facility closures include government buildings, museums, community centers, pools, recreation and rental facilities. For a detailed list of City facility closures, please click here.
Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order, Implements Statewide Essential Services And Activities Protocols
Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for the entire state of Texas. The protocols direct all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. The Governor’s Executive Order renews and amends his previous order enforcing federal social distancing guidelines for COVID-19, including closing schools and instructing Texans to avoid eating or drinking at bars and restaurants. The protocols allow exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Examples of these essential services include healthcare, grocery stores, banking and financial services, utilities, child care for essential service employees, and government services.
Today’s Executive Order follows the decision by President Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to enhance social distancing guidelines and extend the deadline for these guidelines to April 30th.
Governor Abbott was joined for the announcement by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd, and Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner Mike Morath.
“Social distancing is our best tool in the fight against COVID-19, and the actions we have taken thus far have proven to be effective in limiting the spread of this virus,” said Governor Abbott. “Now it is time to redouble our efforts to reduce further exposure as much as possible and flatten the curve. As with all the actions the state is taking, the Essential Services and Activities Protocols is informed by the expertise and guidance of the CDC as well as state and local health officials. I urge my fellow Texans to heed these heightened social distancing directives to protect their health and the health of those around them. By following these guidelines, we will limit the spread of COVID-19 and overcome this challenge together.”
The Executive Order renews and expands the Governor's previous directive to minimize social gatherings and minimize contact with people who are not in the same household. It also renews the Governor's directive to avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, and visiting gyms or massage establishments, and it expands the order to include tattoo studios, piercing studios, and cosmetology salons.
In accordance with federal guidelines, people are still prohibited from visiting nursing home, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance. Additionally, schools will remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance through May 4, 2020.
This Executive Order does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential services, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. The order also includes exemption for religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services.
TDEM will maintain an online list of essential services specified in the Governor's Executive Order at www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices/. Other essential services may be added to this list with the approval of TDEM.
These orders will be effective on a statewide basis starting at 12:01 AM on April 2, 2020 and will end on April 30, 2020, subject to extension thereafter based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC.
Support Local Downtown Businesses
Inside dining at restaurants has been discontinued, but drive-thru, curbside, and delivery are still available from these downtown establishments that choose to offer this service.
Be TEMPLE STRONG by thinking local! Support our local Downtown Restaurants!
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Community Resources are Available
In response to COVID-19 safety recommendations, the City of Temple’s Recycling Processing Facility and Drop-Off Center #1 at 3015 Bullseye Lane have been temporarily closed. The direct handling of collected materials must be suspended until these services can again be safely performed in conformance with recommended health protocol.
Even with the recycling facility closures, there will be no changes to residential or commercial pick-up schedules. The City of Temple Solid Waste Department will continue to service all curbside customers as normal, but recyclable materials will be diverted to the landfill until recycling services can safely resume. Recycle Drop-Off Center #2 at 602 Jack Baskin Dr. will remain open, but an attendant will not be present. Please direct any questions to the Solid Waste Department by phone (254-298-5725) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Temple Mayor Tim Davis declared a local state of disaster on Thursday, March 19, 2020. This disaster declaration will allow the City of Temple to request disaster recovery assistance from the federal government. The local declaration incorporates by reference the most current orders, declarations and directives issues by Bell County’s Judge and Commissioners Court. On March 24, 2020, the Temple City Council extended the Mayor's disaster declaration for as long as necessary due to the COVID-19 crisis.
On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency, which provides that eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to COVID-19 at the direction or guidance of public health officials may be reimbursed under Category B of FEMA’s public assistance program. Even though the president, the Governor of Texas and the Bell County Judge have each declared a state of disaster, state regulations provide that the mayor must declare a local state of disaster before a city may request disaster recovery assistance.
Cleaning of City Buildings/Staff 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.
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.
Temple Fire & EMS Protocol Updates
When residents call 911, Bell County Communications will be asking a series of screening questions to help determine if the patient is at risk of having COVID-19. If those questions show a positive response, the following precautions will be taken:
- Only responders required to properly handle the call will be dispatched.
- The first emergency response agency to arrive will have one crew member enter the building and take precautions to minimize the possibility of virus transmission.
- The patient will be evaluated, and if further responders are required for proper care, they will enter the building.
- The patient will be transported to the appropriate medical facility if needed after consultation with Medical Control Physicians.
- The patient will be transported using the proper protective measures.
- After treatment/transport is completed, any equipment used will be disinfected per established protocols.
The Fire Chief/Emergency Manager will continue to monitor the situation and if further action is required by CDC/Public Health guidance, the department will take the appropriate actions to assure they are followed.
Temple Police Protocol Updates
The Temple Police Department is encouraging its employees to follow the CDC’s recommendations for personal hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The department is increasing sanitation efforts throughout its building, including areas where there is a high rate of public contact. Additionally, officers have been encouraged to routinely sanitize their vehicles and equipment. Officers have also been issued gloves and masks to protect themselves and those they come in contact with.
While public schools remain closed, TPD will allocate its School Resource Officers to patrol shopping districts to prevent and respond to potential issues. The department encourages residents to remain patient and calm while shopping. For the next four weeks, TPD will not hold any educational classes or community events. This measure will be revisited as the situation continues to unfold. Fingerprinting services for the public are also suspended until further notice.
To reduce instances of in-person contact, residents are encouraged to use the department’s online reporting system by clicking the “Report a Crime” tab on the Police Department’s website, www.templetx.gov/police. Residents should be aware that the department’s social media accounts are not monitored on a 24/7 basis and that the department cannot take reports that are submitted via social media messages.
Municipal Court Updates
While Municipal Court proceedings have been cancelled following guidance from the Texas Supreme Court, the Municipal Court clerk’s office remains open. Future court schedules are still being determined. Residents are asked to call or email the court remotely in order to get the most up to date information about their case.
Due to health concerns regarding in-person court appearances, the Temple Municipal Court will begin accepting appearance by email, fax or letter. Requests by email, fax or letter should be postmarked or received by the scheduled court date. Please include all information available to you regarding your case. All those scheduled to appear must call to confirm receipt of your communication.
• Call the court at 254-298-5687
• Email email@example.com
• Fax the court at 254-773-4301
Local, State and Federal Updates
City of Temple Press Releases
Bell County Shelter in Place Order (3.23.20)
City facilities, events and programs that have been closed, cancelled or postponed:
All city-sponsored events have been cancelled, which includes Bloomin’ Temple scheduled for April.
All events held at City rental facilities will be cancelled, including the Mayborn Convention Center, Gober Party House, and the city’s sports fields.
Zone After-School Program is closed.
The City of Temple will be postponing meetings for the Police Chief Community Open House.
The May 2020 Parks Bond Election has been cancelled.
Playgrounds, basketball courts, volleyball courts, pavilions and gazebos located within the city's parks will be closed until further notice. You may still visit the parks and trails green spaces, but please ensure that you follow social distancing guidelines.
For a detailed list of City facility closures, please click here.
PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS FOR A POTENTIAL COVID-19 OUTBREAK
- Tell sick employees to stay home
- Stress the importance of healthy behaviors
- Perform routine cleaning and sanitizing
- Prepare to support “social distancing”