Guadalupe County Commissioners Court on Thursday unanimously approved a coronavirus policy when facing quarantines, illness and scenarios in which employees work at home.
“People started going in different directions asking wanting to know what’s going to happen if this happens, and if they have to be put on quarantine or if they are out of work, if they have to watch kids do they have to use their times or is someone going to pay them for that,” Guadalupe County Judge Kyle Kutscher said. “We wanted to give some clarity to county employees and some direction and guidelines where county department heads could answer their employees.”
The policy puts all of the county departments on the same page, Kutscher said.
“We’re still going to careabout our employees and make sure that they have the normal necessity and have their pay check so they can take care of their families,” he said.
On Friday afternoon, Guadalupe County announced its first confirmed cases of coronavirus, COVID-19. Kutscher reminded people to take the disease seriously, but not panic.
“Heed all of the warnings and guidelines set out by the department of state health services, the CDC, by local governments,” he said. “We’re trying to be cautious and take proactive measures that help prevent the spread of a very dangerous and unknown virus.”
Those guidelines include self quarantine when feeling ill, washing hands for 20 seconds frequently, using hand sanitizer, refraining from touching your face, nose, mouth and eyes.
The number one thing residents can do is social distancing — staying at least 6 feet apart from others and refraining from gathering in groups of more than 10.
These all fall in line with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent announcement Thursday morning which has dine-in restaurants throughout the state closing their doors.
“I think everybody has a moral and ethical obligation and responsibility to each other to think about our actions and what we do and how other people will be affected by those actions,” Kutscher said. “If we all take those precautionary measures, we can have a positive impact on the outcome of what this thing will look like in a few months from now. Doing all of the small things right now will have a very big impact later on.”
He also encouraged community members to look after each other.
“It’s not about what does somebody else has that I don’t, we need to think about helping each other, working together as a community, be safe and protect each other,” he said.
While the county has only one confirmed case, Kutscher said it is possible some residents already have the illness.
“There could be people in our community that already have COVID-19 and we just don’t know about it because of testing limitations, restrictions, quarantines, timelines, a lot of different factors,” he said. “That is why it is important to practice social distancing to implement some of the measures that we’ve already talked about, that we already heard. We don’t want people to panic.”