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March 13, 2020 5:41 PM

Taylor County Operational Guidelines Regarding COVID-19

Taylor County Operational Guidelines Regarding Covid-19
Taylor County has been actively following the progress of this viral illness and as of today, March 27, 2020, we have confirmed 2 positive cases in Taylor County. Commissioners' Court met in a Special Called Emergency Meeting on March 26, 2020 to implement a Declaration of Local State of Disaster due to Public Health Emergency. This Declaration will allow Taylor County to request assistance from the State and Federal Government. The Declaration follows the directives from the State of Texas and Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines. At this time, throughout the State of Texas the positive COVID-19 cases continue to increase, and as we receive updates on the local level, we will make adjustments to the directives in place and operations as warranted. Effective Monday, March 23rd the Courthouse, 1915 Courthouse, Plaza Building will be closed to the Public unless you have an appointment or scheduled court hearing.

The following questions and answers are current:
Q. Is the courthouse open?
A. Yes, the Taylor County Courthouse, the 1915 Courthouse, and County offices are open to serve the public by phone, email, mail or by appointment during specified times of operation. However, that being said, there will be signs on the doors advising you to avoid coming into the building if you are experiencing a fever, or have been in contact with someone sick, or if you are sick. As per the current CDC guidelines, the best steps to take are those that reduce exposure, so:

1) If you are sick, stay home.
2) If you are in an “at-risk” status, avoid large crowds and interacting with others unnecessarily. Taylor County has limited gatherings to a limit of 10 people in a confined space, room or area, and requires everyone to follow the social distancing of 6 feet between you and another person.
3) Wash your hands with soap and water and disinfect your surroundings often.
The county has been treating common spaces, doors, stairwell, etc. to minimize the risk of infection. However, if you are at risk because of a lower immunity to sickness, stay home. If your visit to the courthouse can be delayed a few weeks, wait to come at a later time.

Q. Will there be jury duty?
A. If you are summoned for jury duty, all Jury trials have been postponed at this time until May 1, 2020 or further notice. Jury summons for March were mailed out prior to the Courts postponing the Jury Trials for the Month of March. Call 325-674-1272 if you have questions.

Q. Will there be trials?
A: The Taylor County Courts have made some changes effective immediately: They are as follows:

• All Courts will be delaying Jury trials until May 1, 2020. Some Hearings are still being held and scheduled. Please contact your attorney and the court of which your trial is being held and whether it will be heard by telephone or in person. Several courts will have the option to hear testimony by telephone.

• The 326th District Court (Family Court), Child Protective Court, and Associate Judge will be hearing cases by telephone. If you have a hearing set, call the court for updated procedures.

The Commissioner’s Court will operate as scheduled but are requiring social distancing and limited seating in the courtroom. We are working towards the capability to live stream the meetings. Time sensitive hearings, will be conducted as scheduled by phone, video-conferencing or by appointment.

Q. What about the jail and jail visitations?
A. The Taylor County Jail, effective immediately, is not open for visitation. No visitors are allowed. The jail will continue to operate as a detention facility.

It should be stressed that as conditions change, so, too will be instructions to the public as we all work together to try to remain ready to address new developments proactively.

We ask for your patience and understanding as we work through this situation.


Downing A. Bolls, Jr.

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