Image: President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence provided a briefing at The White House on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, regarding the China flu, also known as “coronavirus.”
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Washington, D.C., and Conroe, March 19 – “We are at war with an invisible enemy, but that enemy is no match for the spirit and resolve of the American people,” President Donald Trump tweeted to the American people on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Montgomery County China flu cases
The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, has confirmed that Montgomery County, according to the Montgomery County currently has:
- Seven (7) positive cases of the China flu, also known as “coronavirus,” or, as the White House calls it “kung flu”;
- Twenty-seven (27) negative test results;
- One hundred and two (102) tests are pending.
Private tests only come to the County government’s knowledge, if they prove positive.
County Libraries close
Montgomery County government libraries remained open for the purpose of allowing patrons to return books until late yesterday afternoon. This newspaper confirmed that several County government librarians had complained to Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough and members of the Montgomery County Commissioners Court that remaining in the libraries placed the library employees at risk.
Late Wednesday, March 18, 2020, County Judge Mark Keough called for the temporary closing of the Montgomery County Library System entirely at least through April 2, 2020.
The Woodlands Township Board of Directors canceled its March 19, 2020, meeting.
Township pathways remain open. The National Recreation and Park Association has issued the following recommendations for use of “hike and bike” trails:
- Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
- Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
- Warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass to allow proper distance and step off trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
- Note that trail and park users may find public restrooms closed — be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
- Bring water or drinks — public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
- Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect parks/pathways staff.
- Do not congregate in large groups.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott delays local elections
Governor Greg Abbott yesterday issued a proclamation suspending provisions of the Texas Election Code to allow political subdivisions to postpone their 2020 local elections. This suspension means local governments now have the ability to postpone their May 2, 2020 elections until November 3, 2020.
“I strongly encourage local election officials to take advantage of these waivers and postpone their elections until November,” said Governor Abbott. “Right now, the state’s focus is responding to COVID-19 — including social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. By delaying this election, our local election officials can assist in that effort.”
Under Section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, the Governor suspended Sections 41.0052(a) and (b) of the Texas Election Code and Section 49.103 of the Texas Water Code to the extent necessary to allow political subdivisions to move their elections for 2020 only to the next uniform date, occurring on November 3, 2020. The Governor also suspended Sections 31.093 and 42.0621(c) of the Texas Election Code to the extent necessary to require all county election officers to contract to furnish election services with political subdivisions if requested by these subdivisions. Only political subdivisions have authority to postpone these elections, but the Governor’s suspensions allow political subdivisions to postpone the elections and strongly encourages them to do so.
Governor Abbott allows restaurant alcohol deliveries
Governor Greg Abbott today issued a waiver that will allow restaurants to deliver alcoholic beverages with food purchases to patrons, including beer, wine, and mixed drinks. The Governor also directed the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to waive certain provisions to allow manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of alcoholic beverages to repurchase or sell back unopened product.
These waivers are in response to the financial hardship caused by COVID-19 that has disproportionately affected the hospitality industry.
“The State of Texas is committed to supporting retailers, restaurants, and their employees,” said Governor Abbott. “These waivers will allow restaurants to provide enhanced delivery options to consumers during this temporary period of social distancing.”
Under this waiver, effective immediately, restaurants with a mixed beverage permit may sell beer, wine, or mixed drinks for delivery as long as they are accompanied by food purchased from the restaurant.
The buy-back waiver allows alcohol distributors and manufacturers to repurchase excess inventory from restaurants, bars, and clubs affected by event cancellations due to COVID-19.