Abilene continues to adapt to COVID-19


ABILENE, TX. (KTAB/KRBC)- With most people staying at home, there are less cars are on the road, and this week city officials have placed a 60 days hold on street maintenance fees, to help tax payers during these trying times.

“Continue the postponement of those fees, we certainly could do that. If council felt it was prudent and conditions warranted an economy to go ahead and begin charging the street maintenance fee again, we could do that in August, or September, or whatever day council deemed appropriate,” said City Manager Robert Hanna.

In a video statement directed to the public, Hendrick Medical Center’s CEO Brad Holland says, the hospital is not expecting a peak, plateau, or decrease in cases until at least June, so they thought it was important to defend the job security of the medical professionals on the front lines.

“Our board of trustees and administration have made the commitment not to lay employees off, not to furlough employees mitigate any reduction in pay,” said Holland.

To help slow the spread and treat patients in a state with a greater number of confirmed cases, one local EMT traveled from Abilene all the way to New Jersey.

“I’m glad that I get to be a part of it, you know because, what better way to I get to show my appreciation to the community than to give back in a way like this,” said Metro Care Abilene EMT Eric Barstad.

Organizations run by volunteers, like Disabled American Veterans, are going to have a tough time finding donations to rebuild their base of operation after some major damage.

“We think it was structural settling being as old as the building is. Something that we just didn’t know was going on underneath the sheetrock. The only thing we could think of is the building settled and now we’re losing it,” said Disabled American Veterans Chapter 36 Commander Seth Cole.

After over 40 days of quarantine, city officials are preparing for the possibility of reopening portions of the state in the near future.

“I am putting together a committee. Governor. Abbott on Monday will make an announcement about what it looks like to open up Texas again, and we want to be responsive,” said Mayor Anthony Williams.

With guidance from medical professionals, on Monday Governor Abbott will present his plan to reopen some businesses, including restaurants and hair salons. At 2:30pm on Monday, April 27th, you can watch the briefing on KTAB, or stream it on BigCountryHomepage.com.

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