Virtual town hall on coronavirus settles concerns

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ABILENE, TX (KRBC/KTAB) – As nearby cities like Dallas and Waco are implementing shelter in place orders, we asked — are we next?  Mayor Anthony Williams says this decision is complex when deciding what is and isn’t an essential business.    

“So, if we have a uniform entity that contracts with Hendrick medical center providing a vital service certainly, we have to be considerate of them and they probably become an essential service. We’ll they have a competitor in market place. Maybe they don’t have a contract with medical care entity, so in one in business is one out of business,” he said.  

The mayor said while citizens safety is paramount, maintaining the local economy’s balance is also important.    

“Because of these events our commerce and our community has been affected, and so we don’t want an attempt to address issues for our cure to be a detriment to trying to address the virus,” he said.  

And the second half of the town hall was dedicated to education and community outreach. With school out indefinitely, a huge focus has been on high school seniors and graduation, so, is graduation a go? 

“Right now, it is scheduled for May 23 right here in the coliseum. We expect that is hopefully what we will be able to do, but if for some reason even that event is impacted, I want parents to know, I want kids to know we believe the graduation ceremony is important,” AISD Superintendent Dr. David Young said.  

“We have already reached out to find optional sites that might be available to host this graduation. We want to do everything we can to make this as normal of a year as possible,” Wylie Superintendent said.  

And on the community impact side, help for those affected and those needing housing or rental assistance can soon apply for assistance.   

“And so if you are employed and you are displaced, you’ve lost some of your hours or if you’ve even lost your job, you can apply for housing and rental assistance through the Christian Service Center at their website beginning on Thursday,” CEO of United Way of Abilene Cathy Ashby said.  

And an overall goal for everyone, keeping the public informed. That includes The City of Abilene is now ready to report testing numbers every day at noon.   

“We’re releasing them now, we’ll continue to release them, they’ll be updated on a daily basis at noon on our website. People can go to Abilenetx.gov,” he said.

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