Abilene Mayor applauds private sector for COVID-19 response


Williams addresses upcoming events in Abilene

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams is applauding the city’s private sector for helping to curb the curve of COVID-19.

Williams, in a Facebook live video on Monday evening, detailed how businesses and event organizers are responding to the spread of coronavirus.

Williams pointed to First Financial Bank, who is now requiring all 1,500 of its employees to wear masks, and United Supermarkets who is also requiring masks for employees and enacting new measures, as examples for the private sector.

Despite the City of Abilene not enacting a mandatory mask ordinance, Williams said private companies can still step up to enforce actions.

Williams said the Governor’s latest order does not allow cities to fine citizens. The Mayor said ordinances in nearby cities like San Angelo and Lubbock do not allow for cities to impose punishments.

“The private sector is doing what the City can’t do,” said Williams. “The private sector is allowing the marketplace to dictate what will or won’t happen.”

According to Williams, the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Business Council and the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce are encouraging its members to take precautions. Those groups are working to distribute masks to businesses, thanks to the generosity of Abilene’s southside Lowe’s.

This weekend’s Abilene Freedom Festival was also a point of discussion in the Mayor’s video. He detailed the precautions the event is taking.

Williams also talked about a Friday event where he is set to participate in a non-official capacity, ‘proclaiming’ Abilene’s dependence on God. He said the event has changed plans and the children’s promotion is no longer happening.

“This is not set to be an official Mayoral event,” said Williams.

Williams cautioned residents about the current status of COVID-19 in Abilene, saying the status may change quickly.

“This is very, very fluid,” said Williams. “I’m not sure what next week will look like.”

Williams then went through nearby cities’ numbers, showing how he said Abilene is doing better.

“We are going to get through this. And Abilene, I think, will do a better job than most.”

Mayor Anthony Williams

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