THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (April 17, 2020) – The Woodlands Township Board of Directors discussed opening up the community, discussed medical capabilities in the area and added a new Director during its regular meeting via videoconference on Thursday, April 16, 2020.
Chairman Gordy Bunch discussed the White House Guidelines for “Opening Up America Again” that had just been released prior to the meeting which includes conditions to reopen the country in three phases. The Township’s discussion of this can be viewed online at this link: https://woodlandstx.new.swagit.com/videos/51921 and the Township PowerPoint can be viewed at this link: https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14245/John-Hopkins-setrac
The Guidelines to Opening Up America Again can be found here: https://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=10072
During the meeting, Chairman Bunch said national guidelines established earlier in the day consisted of three phases to slowly allow the country to begin coming back online. He also delivered the regional medical approach and current status."Today is a much more hopeful day than it was two weeks ago,” said Chairman Bunch. “It is definitely nice to have something tangible to look at regarding this. Texas is in much better shape than the rest of the country. We have to see how the state and county will approach opening back up. These decisions will affect how we can handle openings in The Woodlands Township.”At this point in time, no estimated timeline on when the phases will be implemented. As it currently stands, Montgomery County and Harris County are under a Stay-at-Home Orders until the end of April 30, 2020.
Additionally, Chairman Bunch also provided an update on COVID-19 cases in Harris and Montgomery County, overall general bed usage availability and utilization and pediatric and adult ventilation utilization.
Based on information population by regional hospitals, Chairman Bunch said “We are in much better shape than the rest of the country. Currently, there are 11,600 hospital beds in use of about a normal availability of approximately 19,500 beds. “Right now, we are using about 60% of general operation beds and less than 50% if we had a surge in demand,” he said. “We’re also using less than ½ of ventilators that are available here.”
Director Dr. Ann K. Snyder provided an update on various non-profits including Interfaith of The Woodlands, Montgomery County Food Bank, Crisis Assistance Center, United Way and Meals on Wheels. Interfaith has seen a 100% increase in food distribution during the month of March. Montgomery County Food Bank is open five days a week with its partner agencies. Meals on Wheels has seen a 40% increase. The Crisis Assistance Center has seen a 270% increase food and crisis. Dr. Snyder brought to the board the emotional and mental health concerns during this pandemic. She discussed the resource of Mosaics of Mercy, a non-profit that serves as a hub for resources for mental well-being. The organization stays current on the available mental health resources for our community, including the status of treatment programs, counselors seeing clients through telehealth, and virtual support groups. More information can be found at www.mosaicsofmercy.com. Help is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 346-703-0051 for personal assistance navigating resources. There are current resources listed at https://mosaicsofmercy.com/coronavirus/.
Director Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs provided an update on free testing sites. More information can be found online on the Montgomery County Public Health District website https://mcphd-tx.org and the Harris County Public District website https://www.readyharris.org. Dr. Sekula-Gibbs noted that Harris County also accepts those that reside outside of Harris County at their testing sites.Director Dr. Sekula-Gibbs also mentioned that Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) supplies are still being accepted on Mondays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at The Woodlands Fire Department Central Fire Station, 9951 Grogan’s Mill Road in The Woodlands. Learn more about the Help Our Heroes campaign at http://thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/1489/HELP-OUR-HEROES.
Director John Anthony Brown asked residents to support “our Chinese community regardless of what has happened throughout the world. Our Asian community are hardworking individuals and add great diversity to our community.”
Additionally, Director Brown asked for the Township Community Relations team to promote positive messages that residents are creating during these the Stay-at-Home orders.
The Township Board appointed Mary Funderburg to serve on the Development Standards Committee through December 31, 2020.
The Board also appointed Director Bob Milner to serve as a Director on The Woodlands Road Utility District No. 1 Board of Directors as of May 1, 2020.
At the April 9, 2020 board meeting, Director Brian Boniface stepped down from The Woodlands Township Board of Directors to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve over the next six months, providing aide to areas heavily affected by COVID-19. To fill the vacated unexpired term, the Board appointed Jason Nelson to the Board of Directors of The Woodlands Township.
As part of the Consent Agenda, the Board of Directors received Administrative Reports from Township departments and awarded a contract for Transit Planning and Consulting Services proposals.
On the Regular Agenda, the Board took no action on Incorporation Planning Study matters.
Please stay connected to The Woodlands Township through many communications channels. Learn more and sign up at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/stayinformed. Follow the Township’s official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thewoodlandstownship.
For more information on The Woodlands Township, or to view the meeting in its entirety, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov, or call 281-210-3800.
PHOTO: The Woodlands Township Board of Directors held its regular meeting via videoconference at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16, 2020.