April 8, 2020
The measures we are taking to slow the spread of the coronavirus are working! Great Job Everyone! Stay Home Work Safe!
Hope you are accomplishing many projects. Lots of residents have commented that it has been fulfilling to see the creative displays of chalk art, rainbows, and bears displayed in windows. To view, check out the community tab on our website at www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.
We are all looking forward to Easter this weekend! Activities include Egg My Yard (limited availability), Easter Dinners To Go (limited availability) from the club, and Look Out for Peter Cottontail as he parades down your street! More information on the City of Weston Lakes website under community, Easter “Stay Home” Activities. Use your phone to track his progress and know just when he will be passing your home.
We never expected to experience a pandemic, they just do not touch our lives in modern Texas. Yet, we are facing a pandemic and its economic repercussions.
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has confirmed 9,353 cases and 177 deaths in Texas. Over 96,258 people have been tested and 167 of 254 counties have positive test results within their borders. It has been confirmed by Fort Bend County’s Office there are positive cases within our area, including Weston Lakes, Fulshear and Simonton. Exact data will not be given out due to HIPPA and privacy laws. Please continue to Stay Home, Work Safe and regulate your exposure.
As a whole, Texas is leading the nation in its response to the coronavirus in the number of drive-thru testing sites. Texas implementing measures to social distance has proven to slow the spread. Abbott labs is producing a fifteen-minute test which is being sent to doctors, nurses and those on the front lines to ensure they are not spreading the virus. Statewide approximately 21,000 hospital beds and 2,223 ICU beds are available with both being more than the projected numbers that could be needed. Texas also has 7,000 ventilators at the ready.
An updated Executive Order for travelers from certain destinations was recently issued by the governor with mandated self-quarantine. The Department of Public Service (DPS) has been tasked with enforcing GA-12. See their website for the forms needed to be completed by travelers.
You may learn more by visiting www.dps.texas.gov/covidtravel or calling: 844.986.1093.
Governor Abbott, Dr. Zerwas, Commissioner Hellerstedt and Nim Kidd were all part of a press conference recently. Their plan for hospital expansion of capacity concerning beds and personnel was revealed. They discussed the Trauma Service Areas by region and their capacities. Potential Facilities for COVID-19 to house patients who are not as seriously ill as those who need to be hospitalized or convalescing may be housed there. A Federal Medical Station is already set up in Dallas at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, capacity of 250 beds. Others are planned for San Antonio in the Freeman Coliseum and NRG Stadium in Houston. The Army Corp of Engineers, military, and local health departments are working with local governments to identify future sites. Commissioner Hellerstedt discussed that we can change the course of this disaster unlike being able to change the course of a hurricane. We can control our responses and curtail our actions while slowing the spread of this virus.
The daily phone calls lessened and webinars are becoming more frequent. These are training in how to handle the financial aspects for cities who incurred expenses. While Weston Lakes as a whole did not incur expenses, it is a good time to learn should this process ever be needed in the future.
In the recently passed CARES Act, the third bill approved by our federal government, many sources of help were made available. There is a forgivable loan made available to small businesses which will help businesses pay their employees. If criteria are met, such as number of employees paid now and at a specific date in the future, the loan is forgivable. For businesses forced to close in order to keep employees protected, employers pay the first five thousand and the next five thousand will be paid by the bill. Payroll taxes can be deferred up to two years. There is much to learn about in this bill as it pertains to aid for businesses and their employees. The President has also asked for $250,000 more to help small businesses. Forms were made available to businesses a few weeks ago and once completed FEMA will work with them to reimburse losses. Tax rebates will start going out soon, there is a specified order as to who gets theirs first. Penalties have been waived for removal of money from certain accounts. The scope of unemployment has been expanded as many who could not receive funds will be able to receive under this bill. Unemployment has increased by $600 a week and extended the duration by thirteen weeks. Healthcare is set to get $340 Billion, with some going to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as $30 Billion to schools, colleges to offset the costs with distance learning. Over $11 billion is set aside for Texas. A task force is looking into and making plans on how to get our businesses back to work and to help us into economic rebound. By reducing the spread of the virus here in Weston Lakes, we shape our future. While the federal/state government is working on a plan to get us reopened, the cities with little to no virus will open first.
According to the CDC, all should be wearing masks, handkerchiefs or scarves when in public. Asymptomatic but infected people may spread the virus just by speaking. This will help protect others. Layers of protection include: armor, masks, distancing, gloves, hand washing, disinfection.
Our local EMS and first responders are receiving a normal call volume and hospitals are at a normal capacity. Testing sites in FBC are producing a 48-hour turnaround for results and new sites are coming. PPE has been in short supply but the governor announced that a high-level Senior Vice-President of World-wide Procurement on loan from Dell has been able to secure the State of Texas much needed supplies, such as masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.
Call your doctor: if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. If you have a mild illness stay at home and get well. At least 80% of infections will fall into this category. The CDC and DSHS websites provide guidance needed to handle your care at home. Fever or respiratory issues with underlying health issues, over 65 or symptoms which are worsening are encouraged to call their doctor immediately. State Law prevents the disclosure of any information of persons who have tested positive.
Currently, our community is making Inspirational posters to display at the main entrances at some of the hospitals in the area. We need your help! These posters will uplift doctors, nurses, staff and patients’ spirits. Please visit the website community tab for more information.
Let’s remember to take care of each other and ourselves. Call our elderly loved ones twice a day.
The City of Weston Lakes is doing well and we will come through this trying time with resiliency, and we will do it together.
Please contact me anytime if I can help in any way.
Best of Health to All,
Mayor Ramona Neal