Judge Declares Local Disaster over Coronavirus Concerns

Weber Orders Cancellation of Spring Antiques Shows, Calls on Citizens to "Avoid Panic Buying"

County Judge Joe Weber issued a local disaster declaration in response to coronavirus concerns Friday afternoon, March 13. 

Weber also ordered the cancelling of the upcoming spring antiques shows in Round Top and Warrenton, an event that annually draws thousands of vendors and visitors from around the U.S. and the world.

“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 need treatment, but through fear and uncertainty might feel like they do,” Weber told the Record Friday afternoon.

“Large groups gathered at once in our county, coming from all over the state, the country and even international areas have a potential to put significant stress on our providers, particularly with the coronavirus issues we now face,” Weber added.

Weber said Fayette County’s high population of senior citizens weighed heavily in his decision. Federal and state health experts say the elderly are particularly at risk of serious illness or death from the coronavirus.

“We have to reduce exposure to them anyway we can,” Weber said.

The antiques shows are the only events Weber specifically ordered to be shut down. He called for organizers of other gatherings around the county to consider canceling their events as well.

“For other events scheduled in our county, some of which I’m probably not even aware of, I strongly encourage the sponsors to weigh heavily on the rationale I’ve alluded to and make appropriate decisions to continue their activities or not.”

Furthermore Weber called on the public to avoid “panic buying” at local grocery stores and other merchants. Local stores have been selling out of items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bottled water and some staple foods as consumers prepare for the worst.

“It’s absolutely not necessary,” he said. “Sadly, it puts many of those in need of such items in a very bad situation. Take what you need, but respect what your fellow residents need as well. If we respect the needs of each other, these essential supplies can be available to all.”

Check the County website for updated information about the coronavirus locally: https://www.co.fayette.tx.us/.

Look for more on this story in Tuesday’s paper.

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Fayette County Record

127 S. Washington St.
P.O. Box 400
La Grange, TX 78945
Ph: (979) 968-3155
Fx: (979) 968-6767