LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - City of Lubbock officials held a news conference on Monday, March 23, announcing a fourth declaration of disaster due to COVID-19.
Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope has announced the disaster declaration will close all Lubbock non-essential businesses to coincide with the current mandates for social distancing.
“I don’t believe that sheltering in place is needed in Lubbock right now. I think we can avoid doing it overall, but we need your help to do that,” said Mayor Pope.
The non-essential businesses include retail businesses which do not primarily sell or provide the products or services in the below list of essential businesses. They are defined as businesses which engage in direct, person-to-person services to the public which are not time-sensitive and which ware not required for the immediate health or safety of the recipient, including, without limitation, hair salons, barbershops, hair stylists, nail salons, tattoo parlors, piercing businesses, tanning salons and hair removal waxing businesses.
This is in accordance with the guidelines from the Governor, the President and the CDC, the following commercial businesses, for which social distancing guidelines are impractical or impossible, are hereby prohibited and are ordered to cease operation and close.
This mandate will go into effect in 24 hours, which will be March 24, 2020 at 6 p.m.
The Lubbock mayor also is closing all enclosed shopping malls, commercial amusement and entertainment venues, group meeting spaces. Enclosed shopping malls include any premises which include multiple adjacent retail establishments connected by an enclosed common area.
Group meeting spaces means meeting rooms, ballrooms, or event spaces operated by multi-family apartment complexes or hotels.
Mayor Pope also placed restrictions building supply and home improvement retailers. They may remain open, however, the restriction will limit the business to 50 percent of their current occupancy or 100 people, whichever is less. The number also includes any employees.
“If you don’t have an essential reason for leaving your house, don’t leave your house," added Pope.
He has also listed the businesses considered essential:
- Grocery stores, pharmacies, and package stores
- Pet supply stores and veterinary clinics
- Healthcare providers
- Vehicle fuel stations
- Banks and financial institutions
- Daycare Centers
- Critical infrastructure business
City Manager, Jarrett Atkinson says with the help of the Fire Marshal’s office, the city will regularly check those non-essential businesses to ensure they are compliant with the newest declaration. However, if a business chooses not to be compliant, there could be consequences.
“They do carry the potential for a fine up to $1,000. They carry the potential for jail time up to 100 days," said Atkinson.
But, Atkinson says he doesn’t believe it will get to that point, “I don’t think it’s going to get there. I think people will make good decisions."
Officials say there is one over-arching message to this newest declaration.
“We can protect the public health, we can flatten the curve and we will be back to business soon,” said Atkinson.
“We must stay the course. The sooner we do that, the sooner we’re back to the Lubbock we know and love,” said Pope.
Watch the full news conference here: