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The City of Georgetown is in daily communication with public health, city, and county officials across the region about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We are sharing information with residents from the Williamson County and Cities Health District, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the disease and how to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The City is preparing to implement a continuity of operations plan if such steps are needed to protect public health.
- Williamson County: Dial 2-1-1 and choose Option 6. Call Center hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.
- Ascension Texas: 1-833-919-1680
Events and cancellations
Effective 6 p.m. March 16, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell is requiring all cities limit gatherings of 50 or more people through May 11. As a result, the City will close all Parks and Recreation facilities, the Georgetown Public Library, and the Visitor’s Center to the public. Private gatherings at Parks and Recreation facilities that will have fewer than 50 people will not be required to cancel this time.
City Hall, the Georgetown Municipal Complex, and Municipal Court will remain open.
Red Poppy Festival and Visitors Center
The City of Georgetown and the Red Poppy Festival Planning Committee are pleased to announce the 2020 Red Poppy Festival has been rescheduled to Oct. 23 – 25, 2020. Stay tuned at RedPoppyFestival.com for more details.
The Visitor’s Center (also known as the Convention and Visitors Bureau) is closed through May 11.
Georgetown Public Library
The library will be closed to the public starting 6 p.m. March 16 through through May 11. People should hold onto their library materials until it reopens. The library does not charge overdue fines.
All WOW!mobile stops and outreach events are canceled through April 3, and Sun City stops are canceled through April 19.
The library is not accepting new reservations for its meeting spaces through April 30, 2020.
Parks and Recreation Department
The Recreation and Tennis centers will be closed through May 11. All athletic field rentals and practices also are cancelled. All camps, class, programs, and activities offered by and at the Parks and Recreation Department through May 11 are canceled, and full refunds are available. This includes all spring break camps, group exercise classes, sport practices and games, and lifeguard training.
Private events expecting more than 50 people scheduled through May 11 at the Community Center, Parks Administration Community Room, Garey House, or other park pavilion are canceled. Full refunds and free rescheduling are available. For questions specific to parks and recreation facilities, people can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garey Park will remain open at its regular hours.
Council, Boards, and Commissions meetings
At this time, all regularly scheduled City Council meetings will go on as planned, though staff is working through options to hold these meetings remotely.
The public is encouraged to send written public comment by email to email@example.com and to watch the live stream of the meeting at gtv.georgetown.org or on the Government channel 10. Written citizen comment will be accepted up to 2:15 p.m. Tuesdays for the Workshop meetings and up to 5:45 p.m. Tuesdays for the Regular Council meetings.
The City will not be holding boards and commissions meeting until further notice, unless they have a State statutory requirement. Those boards are:
- Planning and Zoning Commission
- Zoning Board of Adjustment (if needed)
- Historic and Architectural Review Committee
- Building Standards Commission (if needed)
- Georgetown Transportation Enhancement Corporation (if needed)
- Georgetown Economic Enhancement Corporation (if needed)
Staff is working to determine how we might offer video broadcasting for some of the Boards and Commissions meetings. The public is encouraged to send written public comment by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Time-sensitive items that would have been considered by other boards will go straight to Council for a decision.
The March 26 open house about the Austin Avenues Bridges project has been postponed.
What you can do
Health officials recommend these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to seek medical care.
- Avoid direct contact with other people; attempt to maintain 6 feet between yourself and others.
On March 14, 2020, Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross declared a local state of disaster for the City of Georgetown in order to limit the development and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the City. This followed disaster declarations by the President of the United States, the Texas Governor, and the Williamson County Judge, and is based on information provided by public health agencies.
This declaration allows the City to:
- Allocate resources
- Reorganize personnel
- Enact procedures
- Request state assistance if local resources are insufficient
The Georgetown City Council also has scheduled a Special Called meeting 4 p.m. Thursday, March 19, to extend the local disaster declaration until the Council meeting on April 14.
The situation continues to evolve, and we will post more updates here and on our social media channels as we have them.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question not listed here, please email email@example.com. Given this evolving and growing situation, it may take more than 24 hours to respond.
Q: There isn’t any testing in Georgetown or Williamson County, so it’s false to claim there is no virus here.
A: Please call 2-1-1 for more information about testing.
People exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 who want to be tested should contact their primary-care physician before coming into the office to determine whether and how their doctor can accommodate them. People should not go to emergency rooms to be tested.
For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#symptoms
Q: What is the City doing to prepare for COVID-19?
A: On March 16, the City closed most public-facing facilities and extended event cancelations through May 11. On March 14, Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross declared a state of local disaster to limit the development and spread of COVID-19 in the City.
Several City leaders and staff coordinate daily with local, regional, and state partners to monitor and share updates about COVID-19. We continue to evaluate the situation and are updating our continuity of operations planning, so we can maintain essential City services in the event we need to close facilities to limit and slow the spread of the virus.
Q: What is the risk of COVID-19 in Georgetown/Williamson County?
A: As of March 16, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Williamson County; however, we do anticipate the virus will reach our area at some point. We are urging everyone to follow the guidelines set out by the CDC for general hygiene and social distancing.
Q: Why are you canceling things if there aren’t any cases here?
A: The City is following direction from the Williamson County and Cities Health District as well as other state, local, and federal agencies. Williamson County is requiring cities to limit gatherings to no more than 50 people, effective 6 p.m. March 16 through May 11. This is in line with CDC guidance issued March 15.
We are doing what we can now to prepare for the reality of confirmed cases in Georgetown and to limit interactions. In canceling events and declaring a local state of disaster, we are trying to be proactive, so we are ready to respond quickly when we do have confirmed cases. The more we can limit interactions now, before Georgetown has a confirmed case, the less the virus will spread in our community. We appreciate your understanding, patience, and cooperation with these requirements.
Q: How will you enforce the limit to mass gatherings?
A: If you know of or see an event that has more than 50 people, please report it to 9-1-1. Police officers can respond to the event and ensure compliance.
These limits do not apply to restaurants’ day-to-day operations or private facilities or businesses. However, we are encouraging private business operators to consider dispersing crowds if they hit this limit in the interest of our community’s safety.
Q: With how many people are expected to contract COVID-19, how are you able to guarantee you’ll be able to continue delivering essential services like water and electricity?
A: Service continuity and restoration are our top priorities. Our staffing plans include the use of not only our employees, but also contractors and mutual aid assistance from neighboring utilities.
Q: How will this impact my trash and recycling services?
A: Texas Disposal Systems (TDS) continues to operate normally. The transfer station located on Walden Drive remains open to the public. TDS staff are collecting landfill trash, recycling, brushy, and bulky on normal schedules.
In order to reduce our employees’ potential exposure to bacteria, we need to limit the amount of contact employees have with trash and recycling materials. We are asking residents bag all landfill trash and to keep recycled materials loose. We appreciate your cooperation.
Q: What is the City doing to make sure public facilities are cleaned?
A: The City contracts for janitorial services and already requested an increase to efforts to clean and disinfect public surfaces. The company that provides the City’s janitorial services is using hospital-grade disinfectant and is cleaning frequently touched areas more often. We also are asking each department to make hand sanitizers available in common areas and for front-line employees and routinely clean public surfaces throughout the day.