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By James McAfee/The Knox County News-Courier—
Following the lead of others in regard to the threat of COVID19 virus. County Judge Stan Wojcik and Dr. Randall Sloan, the county’s health authority, have issued a state of emergency, ordering all schools in the county to remain closed for two weeks following their returns from Spring Break.
This means students can not return until March 30 at Knox City and O’Brien and April 6 at Benjamin and Munday.
In addition, any individuals who have traveled to viral hot spots determined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) must self-quarantine themselves for two weeks.
Wojcik said the Texas Government Code Chapter 418 gives him the power to declare a local disaster within a county “if the threat of disaster is imminent.”
The judge feels that whereas COID-19 has the potential of endangering lives and damaging property on a large score; whereas the potential damage and the rapidity with which COID-19 could escalate could constitute an imminent threat of disaster; whereas the declaration of such a disaster authorizes the imposition of controls on activities which tend to increase the likelihood to the public; whereas such controls when implemented have the potential of protecting lives and property by mitigating the threat of spread if COID-19.
The declaration is effective until March 23 and can be extended with authorization by the Knox County Commissioners Court.
“We thank you for your cooperation,” Judge Wojcik said, adding and that any questions or concerns can be directed to him at 940-459-2191.
He did say that the emergency order did not apply directly to churches but added that state officials had urged people not go to gatherings of 50 or more and President Trump even noted that it should be even lower at 10.
“We are aware that this puts a strain on our community and school family but are fully on board with the closure to reduce the spread of the virus,” Knox City/O’Brien CISD Supt. Colin Howeth said in an email to parents.