CHEROKEE COUNTY – Officials have issued a declaration of local disaster for public health emergency in Cherokee County.
The declaration, issued Thursday, March 19, is effective immediately.
In an open letter to citizens, County Judge Chris Davis assured that the “county does not have any confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus at the time of this writing.”
The Centers for Disease Control and the Texas Department of State Health Services establishes the criteria for who will be tested, he added. “If and when a positive result is reported, we will immediately notify you,” he said.
Meanwhile, county officials are in full compliance “with any orders issued by the Governor.”
As a result, “the Cherokee County Courthouse will remain open with modifications,” the letter stated. “By law, the public must have access to certain open proceedings, such as state-mandated court hearings, that occur in the courthouse.”
All essential services such as the sheriff’s department and Emergency Management will operate as usual, the letter stated.
Meanwhile, “each elected official or department head is the sole authority for limiting or closing or modifying the business of their offices,” it noted.
These include offices of the county attorney; county auditor; county clerk; district clerk; county judge; county treasurer; district attorney; emergency management; public health department; human resource; tax assessor/collector; district courts; county courts; all precinct commissioner, Justice of the Peace and constable offices; sheriff's offices and the county veteran affairs office.
“Each official will make a decision regarding their office,” Davis said.
County offices such as the elections department and County AgriLife extension offices will be closed to the public, but will be staffed as usual.
“If you do not absolutely need to come to these offices, please do not do so,” Davis said, adding that residents should call ahead of time “to determine their availability. If you have business with any of these offices, please telephone them.”
At the municipal level, the cities of Troup and Rusk also have issued a declaration of local state disaster due to public health emergency.