COOPER — Judge Jason Murray issued a disaster declaration for Delta County on Friday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and Gov. Greg Abbott’s state of emergency announcement, according to Cooper Volunteer Firefighter Assistant Chief and Delta County Emergency Services Coordinator Tanner Crutcher.

“Just as most counties have done, and in response to the governor’s announcement, we have issued a disaster declaration,” he said. “It allows us to get access to state resources and federal resources.”

While the county has no confirmed cases, officials are simply doing what it can to protect residents, he said.

“We don’t have any cases yet, no positive tests, but we have to be prepared,” Crutcher said.

The proclamation states the county will follow the governor’s mandate of avoiding social gatherings of 10 or more people; avoiding eating or drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts and instead use drive-thrus, pick-up or delivery; avoid gyms and massage parlors; not visit nursing homes, or retirement or long-term care facilities except to provide critical assistance; and to close schools in the county.

County officials ask that Delta residents do their best to stop the spread of the virus and follow all safety practices recommended by the state, including social distancing, hand washing and other sanitary practices, Crutcher said.

Restaurants around Cooper have already complied with the take-out or curbside only practice, Crutcher said, and the school district has set up school lunches for students who are on free or reduced lunches.

“Hope House and the meal a day group are doing take-out only,” he said.

The statement is good for seven days unless renewed by the Delta County Commissioners Court.

Kim Cox is the city editor for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6965 or at kim.cox@theparisnews.com.

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