COVID-19 Update: March 26
Good afternoon, everybody. I know the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of information as we all adjust to temporary restrictions on our lives aimed at helping our communities weather the potential storm of a novel virus. We’re working from home; struggling to keep our children happy, healthy and educated while schools are closed; perhaps facing the pressures of lost income in the wake of business restrictions and closures; or maybe just worn out — worried about loved ones, weary from the impacts of psychological stress, eager to know when life may return to some semblance of normal. Some of our families are dealing with all of these struggles at once, and my heart goes out to you.
With the county’s Stay Home, Work Safe order announced this week, my hope is that we can all settle in now for a bit. The county order lasts until April 7, and while county officials are providing regular updates to the cities as well as opinions and clarifications on the application and enforcement of their order, we do not at this point anticipate the announcement of any additional restrictions in our immediate future.
Here are a few updates on the Keller front:
CITY COUNCIL ELECTION: City Council on Tuesday met via teleconference and unanimously approved a resolution postponing the May 2 election until the Nov. 3 election cycle, unless an earlier date occurring after May 2 is authorized by the governor. We came to that decision after hearing from Tarrant County that it was unlikely they would be able to support a normal May election with early voting beginning in April. Our hope is that the governor will offer a new date for the May election that keeps our local elections separate from the partisan ballots in the fall, but we’ll keep you updated on that as we learn more.
LOCAL BUSINESSES: As you all know, our business community is taking a hit right now. We encourage you to continue supporting those that you can — taking appropriate precautions — to help them and their employees stay afloat. If you’re curious which Keller restaurants are offering orders for pickup and delivery (as well as alcohol to go), visit www.keepitinkeller.com/covidupdates. The city is also running a Keep Calm and Carry Out Contest through 11:59 p.m. Sunday night. Just snap a photo of you or your family supporting a local restaurant through takeout, drive-thru or delivery, and direct message it to the City of Keller Government or Keep it in Keller page. Early next week we’ll be drawing prizes, and the more entries you send in the better your chances of winning! I’ve also heard rumor that the household that submits the most entries will be getting an extra special prize.
COMMUNITY HEALTH: As of today, there have been 100 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Tarrant County, and five of them are right here in Keller. Three of our cases have been linked to travel while two are listed as having been transmitted by an unknown community source. As the county continues to expand testing capabilities, we’re likely to see even more cases confirmed in the days and weeks ahead. You can keep up with those updates if you’d like at coronavirus.tarrantcounty.com.
Staff has been fielding a lot of questions over the past few days about the latest orders out of Tarrant County, and we understand that our residents have a wide range of views on them from believing them unnecessary or even unconstitutional, to believing they don’t go far enough and that our community should be even more restrictive.
In our many discussions with Tarrant County, it has been clear that they are trying to strike a balance between life-safety and livelihood. There is no level of restriction (or lack thereof) that will satisfy all 45,000+ residents of Keller, so we appreciate your understanding and support as we adapt to all the information we’re receiving from the county. This situation is truly unprecedented for all of us; let’s please show our businesses, our government officials and staff members, and our fellow residents a little grace. This is a time for us to come together (though not physically), work toward a common cause and take a moment to reflect on those things which are most important in our lives.
Stay home, stay safe, and we’ll all get through this together.
-Mayor Pat McGrail