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Posted on: March 20, 2020

The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, March 20, 2020

Social Distancing

Enforcement of Park Closure Orders
The Township Board of Directors ordered the closure of Township parks and the placement of signage at all parks to warn of the health risks that may be associated with the use of Township park facilities. This is an unprecedented time and we are encouraging that the Township park closure rules be followed by all. We also recognize that in this crisis situation, our public safety resources must be focused to protecting our residents against criminal activity and addressing larger public health concerns. Township law enforcement resources will only be used to enforce park closure rules for large groups that are blatantly in violation of the most recent Montgomery County and Harris County Orders regarding gatherings at public facilities. We strongly encourage residents to abide by CDC guidance during this crisis.

Township Emphasizes the Importance of Social Distancing
Social distancing is a set of actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. The objective of social distancing is to reduce the probability of contact between persons carrying an infection, and others who are not infected, so as to minimize disease transmission, morbidity and ultimately, mortality.

The CDC has advised the following with regards to social distancing:

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. If you are sick, please contact your healthcare provider BEFORE going to their office so that arrangements can be made for your safety and the safety of others.
  • If you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often, particularly after contact with high-touch surfaces. Limit your public outings to only the essentials. If possible, work remotely from home and consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social or commercial networks. Stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.

Please note, these measures are for your safety as well as the safety of others. It is critical at this time to observe social distancing and relegate all non-essential outings to a later date.

Questions About Water: An Important Message from The Woodlands Water Agency
The emergence of COVID-19 has caused understandable questions about public health and local water supplies. To be clear, the water supply in The Woodlands, as provided by the 10 municipal utility districts(MUDs) in our area, is safe. Water in The Woodlands continues to be certified by the State of Texas as a “Superior Water System.”

Federally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provide helpful resources about COVID-19 and the safety of drinking water. According to the CDC: “The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”

According to the EPA: “The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.

Township Chairman Gordy Bunch visits with Chamber President JJ Hollie
Woodlands Online sponsored a live Facebook video to discuss issues in The Woodlands regarding the Coronavirus. Township Chairman Gordy Bunch visited with Chamber President JJ Hollie and discussed issues including park usage and closures, communication and the resiliency of The Woodlands. The video can be viewed on The Woodlands Online Facebook page.

The Woodlands Farmer’s Market
At this time, closing the market temporarily is the best course of action due to the heightened concern of the Coronavirus. Please follow our Facebook page for updates regarding the market.

Texas Information 
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order related to preparedness and mitigation, Commissioner Dr. Hellerstedt, declared a public health disaster. The last time a public health disaster was declared was in 1906 related to smallpox.

These actions complement each other to direct communities, individuals, and businesses how to work together to protect Texas and the health care system. Together, the documents direct that:

  • People, businesses and communities to undertake hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation practices.
  • People who are known to have, or are under investigation or monitoring, for COVID-19, should adhere to the direction provided to them by public health officials.
  • People who are ill, especially those with symptoms consistent with influenza or COVID-19, should isolate themselves at home until they recover. These individuals should only present for medical evaluation and treatment if their symptoms are such that they cannot continue to be cared for in their home. And, when seeking medical care, they should call their doctor or health care facility before arriving to allow them to prepare.
  • All persons should limit trips into the public to essential outings. Traveling to work, the grocery store, the pharmacy or to seek medical care would be considered essential trips.
  • People should limit close contact with other people as much as possible, maintaining a distance of six feet away.
  • People should not gather in social groups of more than ten individuals.
  • Employers should allow work at home alternatives to the greatest extent possible.
  • And, restaurants should not allow dine-in options, either inside or outside. Take-out and curbside options with minimal contact are permitted and highly encouraged.

Curbside Service Update
Waste Management is continuing to operate all curbside collection and Recycle Center services as normal. No interruptions to the standard schedule have occurred. Due to heavy volume, your collection may occur at a different time of day than usual. Please Note: Waste Management Call Center staff are transitioning to work-at-home for their health and safety. Until this transition is complete, please report a missed pickup, bulk pickup request, or other concern by emailing to cssatex@wm.com. Be sure to provide your name, address, village, regular service date, and the nature of your request.

Case Counts
The number of confirmed cases will be over 150 when DSHS posts updated case counts today. DSHS is working with local health department partners to better sync up timing of local and state level date reporting, to hopefully minimize confusion over case counts.

Social Media Resources
DSHS communications team keeps working to update social media tools and messages, take a look at: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/tools.aspx.  The TexasDSHS Twitter account is also posting animated graphics that may be of use to you.

Message about our page Coronavirus page
The Woodlands Township has launched a special COVID-19 information page that can be found at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/covid19, formatted for both desktop and mobile devices. This page includes the latest news from The Township, updates from partner agencies, social distancing strategies, important links, frequently asked questions, live Twitter feeds and more.

Stay Connected 
Please stay connected to The Woodlands Township through our many communications channels. Learn more and sign up at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/stayinformed.

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The Woodlands Township publishes this update to inform residents and businesses regarding the COVID-19 and its impact on The Woodlands Township. Please sign up for Township news and notifications at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/notifyme.

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