Abilene Mayor: No shelter in place mandate as of yet, city leaders discuss COVID-19 response

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams says he will not currently enact a shelter in place order amid COVID-19 concerns, but will consider all options.

In a virtual town hall held Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Williams said, “We want to be sure we consider all of our options. We want to be sure that we don’t do anything to jeopardize the health and safety of our citizens.”

The mayor said, “We don’t want an attempt to address issues for our cure to be a detriment trying to address the virus.”

When asked if a confirmed positive case would automatically trigger a shelter in place order, Mayor Williams said that it would not, “but depending on what the numbers look like, the council needs to have a conversation,” he said.

He went on to say they have been in communication with not just the Abilene City Council, but also the governor’s office, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Representative Jodey Arrington.

Williams also said with the constantly changing nature of the situation, everything could be different in just a few days.

Abilene and Wylie ISD superintendents also participated in the town hall, and addressed several issues, including school lunches, at-home learning, internet access and graduation.

Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young said they plan to hold graduation on May 23, but will hold it whenever they can if that’s not possible.

City Manager Robert Hanna, among other things, spoke about the effect on the local economy, saying we need to do the best we can to keep our economic engines thriving during this unavoidable economic downturn.

Doug Peters of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce spoke about the importance of supporting local businesses in this time of crisis.

Dr. Cathy Ashby, with United Way of Abilene, said they’ve been working hard to meet three basic needs: food, shelter, and child care, while Annette Lerma, Director of Taylor County Public Health District, ensured Key City residents that they have their best interests at heart.

You can see the whole town hall by watching the attached video.

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