More government agencies are closing and events around Washington County are being canceled or suspended due to the COVID-19.
The city of Brenham announced Friday they were closing some of their facilities, including the Blue Bell Aquatic Center, the Nancy Carol Roberts Memorial Library, the Fireman’s Park carousel and no longer admitting visitors to the animal shelter.
The city said they were closing the facilities after Brenham Independent School District decided to close for an extra week this week.
“Due to the closure of Brenham ISD, these facilities may be heavily impacted, placing staff and residents at unnecessary risk,” the city said in their release. “The purpose of the recent school closures is to allow people to self-quarantine or implement social distancing in order to reduce potential exposure.”
The city of Brenham said they thought carefully about the decision.
“After much discussion, closures of these city facilities, along with all city-sponsored recreational events, will be effective March 15-22,” the city said in its release. “City leaders will meet again on March 19 to re-evaluate conditions and determine if an extension is necessary.”
According to a news release Friday, Blinn College is extending their Spring Break until March 23. Blinn also postponed its board meeting, canceled it finals until March 23, canceled its Boots and Blue Jeans fundraiser March 28, postponed its Alumni and Friends Clay Shoot April 17 and canceled all its student campus tours and preview day events to keep groups of more than 50 people from gathering. Blinn also cancelled all its athletics events until April 3.
Bee keepers hoping to be the next best honey producers in the Central Texas Beekeepers Association’s annual beekeeper’s school will have to make other plans.
“In view of the current health crisis with the coronavirus, the leadership of the Central Texas Beekeepers Association has reluctantly decided to postpone the 12th Annual Beekeepers School that was scheduled for March 21 in Brenham,” the association said in a Friday release.
Burton ISD also annouced Friday it was canceling its March 16 board meeting due to “growing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.”
Neither the Burton meeting or beekeeper’s school have been rescheduled yet, according to their releases.
Fayette County Judge Joe Weber issued a disaster declaration for his county and canceled the iconic Round Top and Warrenton antiques shows. Weber told the Fayette County Record he couldn’t risk the lives of his residents.
“Though we have no cases of coronavirus in the county, and thus no loss of life, I cannot and will not put our county health providers in a position where they will be potentially overloaded by large numbers of people who might not really need treatment, but through fear and uncertainty might feel like they do,” Weber told the Record Friday afternoon.
Organizers with the Round Top antiques show said they were saddened by the news.
“It is with sadness that we announce our Spring 2020 Antique Week will be canceled,” Round Top organizers said Friday. “In light of today’s announcements by Gov. Greg Abbott and Fayette County Judge Joe Weber, those discussions have resulted in the cancellation of the Spring 2020 Round Top Antiques Fair per emergency declarations. Further details are to come. Looking forward to seeing you in the Fall. Sept 28-Oct 3.”
Washington County’s 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office Facebook page posted Friday it was planning to enforce increased penalties for certain crimes during a state-wide disaster declaration.
“Because Gov. Abbott has declared a state of disaster in Texas, the law allows for enhanced penalties for crimes such as assault, robbery, theft, burglary and criminal trespass,” the post said. “We will pursue enhanced punishments in Washington County in the appropriate cases. Let’s treat each other as we would want to be treated. Be kind, Washington County.”