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Posted on: March 27, 2020

The Woodlands Township COVID-19 Update, March 27, 2020

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NEW DEVELOPMENT IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY REGARDING COVID-19

New Stay at Home Order issued today from Montgomery County
Judge Mark Keough issued a Stay at Home Order today increasing the urgency of social distancing, a curfew and more.

View the order here.

The Woodlands Township Chairman of the Board Gordy Bunch talks about the Order and other items regarding The Woodlands Township’s measures at a the video link below. All Township parks were previously closed by order of the Township Board of Directors on March 16, 2020. “There are a number of individuals who are not adhering to the Park closure order and are accessing and using park facilities and amenities in violation of the Township order,” Chairman Bunch said. “Just today, two individuals in their 20s were diagnosed positive with COVID-19 in The Woodlands.”

Chairman Bunch said all gates to tennis courts, dog parks, skate parks, sports fields, and community gardens will be locked. One exception is the entry gate at Northshore Park. Lake Woodlands has one boat ramp that serves the property owners on the lake, and it is required to maintain boat ramp access for the owners. If Township Rangers find there are major violations of the Order at the park, they will lock the gate and notify all property owners around the lake of the closure. 

Gates to the park restrooms have been locked, the nets at volleyball courts have been removed and the rims of basketball courts are in the process of being sealed. 

“We’re sorry to have to take such drastic steps, but without a cure, the best way to stop this is through social distancing,” Chairman Bunch said.

Please view a video by Township Chairman Gordy Bunch explaining what these new rules mean for the Township. 

County and State Information

Montgomery County Judge Keough Issues Stay Home, Stop the Spread
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough issued a stay home order on Friday, March 27, 2020. The order will take effect for residents of Montgomery County at 11:59 p.m. and expire on April 12, 2020. The order stipulates that most businesses cease operations, aside from those on an essential list including grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare providers, government agencies, gas stations and more. The order also instructs residents of Montgomery County to stay home except for essential errands. A curfew will be in place throughout all of Montgomery County, starting at 11:59 p.m. every night and ending at 6 a.m. Read the complete Montgomery County order.

Montgomery County COVID-19 Cases
Montgomery County Public Health District, in conjunction with Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management, can confirm Montgomery County now has 47 positive cases of COVID-19, an increase of 6 from yesterday. As of 3 p.m. today, there are 314 negative results and 174 pending tests. We would like to emphasize the importance of staying home if you are able and social distancing. The virus is now in all parts of our county. Regardless of exactly where these patients reside, it is spreading in the community. Increased hygiene practices, like frequent hand washing and surface disinfecting, are imperative. View updated cases. View press release from MCPHD.

Harris County COVID-19 Case Count
Harris County Public Health (HCPH) has confirmed, as of 3 p.m. today, 25 new cases of COVID-19, which brings the total to 160 positive cases, including one COVID-19 related death, reported on March 19, 2020. HCPH is also confirming that 14 patients have recovered. These new cases do not include those within the City of Houston. Link to news release.

The Woodlands Township News

The Woodlands Township Board of Directors meeting, Wednesday, March 25, 2020
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors held its first ever public meeting via videoconference. The Directors discussed the Township’s response to COVID-19 and will be meeting weekly under special emergency guidelines from the State of Texas. The Directors also voted to defer the planning process of The Woodlands future governance. View the complete news release. The meeting video can be viewed at http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/778/Meeting-Videos.

The Woodlands Township Board of Directors will be meeting again, via videoconference, on Thursday, April 2, 2020, and the meeting video will be “live” online with residents able to call in. More information will be released Monday, March 30, 2020.

The Township’s Resident Care Center is taking phone calls remotely during regular business hours. There are four ways for community members to report a concern to The Woodlands Township:

  1. Call The Woodlands Township Resident Care Center at 281-210-3800 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  2. For assistance after hours with urgent service matters other than emergencies, please call 281-210-3800 and press nine (9). Any time during the automated announcement, press nine (9) again to be connected to the After Hours Supervisor.
  3. Submit your concern online through TheWoodlands311 service request system. Registration is not required.
  4. Download TheWoodlands311 app on your mobile device

Property improvement applications can be submitted by mail or by email to covad@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov. Review and approvals of applications may be delayed. Due to restrictions and guidelines for social distancing, site visits or in-person meetings with property owners or contractors cannot be performed at this time. Additionally, applications that require the approval of a review committee (RDRC or DSC) will be scheduled when those committees are able to convene.

Landscape maintenance of governmental facilities, including roadsides and parks are considered Essential Governmental Services and are not restricted by County Orders. The Township, through its various contractors, are continuing regular park, pathway, and streetscape maintenance.

Trash and recycling services are considered Essential Governmental Services that are not restricted by County Orders at this time. The Township’s waste removal and recycling contractor, Waste Management, continues to provide the regular weekly collection services.

Waste Management 
Call Center is Available.

  • Residents needing to report a missed pick up, schedule a bulk pick up or submit another request can contact Waste Management at 1-800-800-5804 or email cssatex@wm.com.
  • Waste Management continues to provide weekly curbside services according to your designated service day. Due to an increase in volume, pick up times may vary from your previous pick up time, however, trucks are operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • We anticipate that disruptions in service may be inevitable if and when local, state or federal declarations mandate additional operational restrictions.

Help Prevent Collection Truck Fires and Protect the Environment

  • Waste Management has reported an increase in truck fires due to hazardous waste being put into trash carts.
  • Batteries, chemicals, motor oils, and propane tanks should be kept out of your recycle, trash, and green waste. These items require special handling at a household hazardous waste facility. Currently those facilities are closed. Please hold onto these items until they reopen.

Simple Recycling (textile recycling using an orange bag)

  • The curbside textile recycling program has been suspended until further notice.

The Woodlands Farmer’s Market
The Woodlands Farmer’s Market, located at 7 Switchbud Place, sponsored by the Grogan’s Mill Village Association is closed through April 15, 2020. At this time, closing the market temporarily is the best course of action due to the heightened concern of the Coronavirus. The Farmer’s Market will send an update email closer to April 15, 2020. Please follow their Facebook page for updates regarding the market.

Business News

Grocery Store Special Hours

  • ALDI:  9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Costco: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.    
  • Fiesta Mart:  7 a.m. to 10 p.m.         
  • HEB:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Delivery to seniors (60+) is available through partner, Favor Delivery. Phone orders are accepted 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week by calling 1-833-397-0080. This service is free until April 19, 2020 but will include a $10 tip to the Favor Runner who will shop for and deliver the items.       
  • Kroger:  7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sam’s Club: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Open Tuesday and Thursday 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and concierge curbside service available for seniors 65+.
  • Target: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. priority is given to 65+, pregnant and those in at-risk conditions.           
  • Trader Joe’s:  9 a.m. to 7 p.m.            
  • Wal-Mart:  7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Open Tuesdays from 6 to 7 a.m. for seniors 65+.       
  • Whole Foods: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Shoppers 60+ can begin shopping at 7 a.m.

The Woodlands Mall closes due to COVID-19
As a result of County Judge of Montgomery Order, The Woodlands Mall’s interior common areas will cease operations, but food-use tenants may continue to operate for pick-up and delivery service. Businesses with external entrances will be permitted to operate within the occupancy guidelines. The Mall Walker Program is suspended until further notice. Read the entire update at https://www.thewoodlandsmall.com/en/visit/covid-19-update.html.

Our community medical centers at both a regional and local level are in urgent need of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is utilized across the health care, oil and gas, chemical, and industrial painting industries (and likely other industries as well). They can use help from anyone who has access to these supplies, current inventories, etc. This is a general call to action with all our business members regardless of industry type, as you may have a key contact who may be able to assist in these efforts. Please call The Woodlands Economic Development Partnership (EDP) at 281-363-8137 or email mariana.almanza@edpartnership.net to let them know of your ability to assist and the EDP will aid in getting you connected with our local hospital administrators.

Community Resource Information

The following items were received from the agencies noted.

Jobseeker Information
If you have lost your job due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Texas Workforce Commission has waived the waiting period to apply for unemployment benefits.  A link to the Texas Workforce Commission application is here: https://twc.texas.gov/news/covid-19-resources-job-seekers 

Food Banks
Local food banks are inventorying their resources to ascertain what will be needed in the days to come. Many Township residents have expressed a desire to volunteer or donate; please see the information below regarding those needs.

The Township’s Coronavirus page
The Woodlands Township has launched a special COVID-19 information page that can be found at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/covid19. 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 and is being updated frequently. Please check back often.

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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