In recent months, the entire community has been working to keep up with the response to the spread of COVID-19 in North Texas. All steps being taken are meant to safeguard public health, including closure of several city facilities until further notice.
All residents of The Colony are currently under a series of Executive Orders and local disaster declarations issued by Gov. Greg Abbott, the Denton County Commissioners Court, and The Colony City Council, which are meant to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, aka #FlattenTheCurve. As part of those Orders:
- Residents remain encouraged to practice social-distancing, wear a face-covering in public, minimize social-gatherings, and minimize contact with individuals outside their households;
- Many businesses may (but are not required to) reopen while maintaining capacity limits and complying with social-distancing practices for both employees and the public.
CITY FACILITIES: WHAT’S OPEN
- City Hall Customer Service staff are available at the utility-billing drive-through window on the north side of the building during regular business hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday. Customers can also access their accounts online.
- Parks & Trails are open, including the following facilities, but users must practice social-distancing and #ResponsibleRecreation. Call 972-625-1106 for more info or keep watch on The Colony Parks & Recreation Facebook page for the latest updates.
- Park amenities, as follows, reopening at 8 a.m. June 19 for use at your own risk. Please be aware that it is impossible for the City to disinfect park amenities in a manner to completely eradicate the potential spread of viruses. All users are encouraged to follow best practices for personal protection, which includes maintaining social distance, frequently washing/sanitizing your hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when sick.
- Public playgrounds;
- picnic tables; and,
- basketball courts.
- The Colony Public Library’s book drop is open and curbside service has begun, including curbside printing.
- The Colony Animal Services facility remains open during regular hours but visits are by appointment-only. TCAS is currently offering no-cost dog adoptions. Each adoption includes the pet’s vaccinations, microchipping and spay/neuter. For information, call TCAS at 972-370-9250.
- Summer Kidz Kamp at the Recreation Center. Call 972-625-1106 for more information.
CITY FACILITIES: WHAT’S CLOSED (UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)
SERVICES, MEETINGS, SPECIAL EVENTS
- All Board and Commission meetings (with the exception of The Colony City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Economic Development Corp. Board and Community Development Corp. Board) are postponed. Residents are encouraged to watch public meetings online where applicable and submit citizens-input of public interest or regarding agenda items to The Colony City Secretary Tina Stewart.
- All special events for the summer, including Liberty by the Lake, are cancelled. The Coach Cox Kids Chase by the Lake has been postponed to Sept. 12, 2020.
- The Colony Fire Department has postponed public education events to ensure adequate emergency preparedness and response capability. In addition, all fire department facilities are closed to walk-ins and visitors. If someone arrives to a fire station with a medical emergency, they are instructed to call 9-1-1 or use the public phone in the lobby at each fire station. Check out this video for more information about TCFD preparedness & procedures.
- The Colony Police Department is NOT pulling over drivers in light of any "Stay at Home" order. If an Officer makes a stop, it will be for an observed traffic violation or investigation of another criminal offense. They will, however, encourage the community to voluntarily comply with the orders as they conduct daily operations. Anyone suspecting others in the community are not properly adhering to the guidelines may contact the TCPD non-emergency line at 972-625-1887. Also, the lobby at Police Headquarters is closed to the public.
- Permitting services continue electronically for general applications, signs and fences. All other permits can be accepted in the utility-billing drive-through on the north side of City Hall or by appointment only if necessary.
- Planning services continue either electronically or by appointment only.
HEALTH GUIDANCE & TESTING INFORMATION
Denton County Public Health (DCPH) is the City of The Colony’s official public health authority. DCPH is responsible for identifying and monitoring all cases of COVID-19 in Denton County.
As we have from the beginning, we encourage our residents to follow public-health best practices regarding the spread of infectious diseases as outlined below by Denton County Public Health and the CDC:
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often;
- Avoid close contact with others and maintain 6-feet of social-distancing;
- Wear a cloth face-covering when around others, even if you don’t feel sick;
- Cover coughs and sneezes; and,
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
Face-coverings: When you can’t stay home, the CDC recommends use of a cloth face-covering in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Your cloth face covering should:
- Reach above the nose, below the chin, and completely cover the mouth and nostrils;
- Fit snugly against the sides of the face;
- Be made of multiple layers of fabric that you can still breathe through; and,
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damaging the material or shape.
Do not buy surgical masks to use as a face covering. Those are intended for healthcare workers and first responders. Many items you may already have in your home can be used to create face coverings. Try creating a cloth face covering using bandanas, ski masks, washable napkins, or dish towels. More information from the CDC.
Pets: According to the CDC, there is no reason to think that any animals, including pets in the United States, might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date (3/11/20), CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals. For more information on the benefits of pet ownership, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website.
Pools & hot tubs: There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.
Chloroquine phosphate: The CDC has issued a health alert warning against the use of non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate to treat COVID-19. Chloroquine phosphate, when used without a prescription and supervision of a healthcare provider, can cause serious health consequences. More information.
More information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/
Resources are available via the Denton County MHMR Center. The crisis hotline is 800-762-0157. For more information, visit their website.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has also established toll-free mental health support line for those experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic: 833-986-1919.
The North Texas Behavioral Health Authority is offering a hotline for anyone to call who may be experiencing stress and anxiety during this time of crisis. The number is 833-251-7544.
For more, check out our Mental Health Resource one-sheet.
INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES
Visit The Colony EDC website for information about its Small Business Support Grant Program.
Denton County has launched the OPEN (Operational Plan for Economic Normalization) Grant with $2.2 million available through grants for businesses physically operating within Denton County. The goal of this program is to help the businesses that have been closed the longest and negatively impacted by COVID-19.
As of March 20, Texas small businesses can now apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the US SBA. Also, The Colony Economic Development Corp. has compiled a Business Retention Coronavirus Recovery Checklist which will help with guidelines for the immediate actions a local business should take during this time.
Also, Texas Woman’s University (TWU) is offering a program to assist Texas, woman-owned businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19
City statement March 3, 2020