City of Royse City: Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency

(ROYSE CITY, TX – March 17, 2020) WHEREAS, beginning in December 2019, a novel coronavirus, now designated COVID-19, has spread through the world and has now been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization;

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring the growing number of cases that have spread into the United States and the identification of “community spread” cases of COVID-19 in the united States signals that transmission of the virus is occurring;

WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath and, in some
cases, the virus has caused death;

WHEREAS, extraordinary measures must be taken to contain COVID-19 and prevent its spread throughout North Texas, including the quarantine of individuals, groups of individuals and property, and additionally, including compelling individuals, groups of individuals, or property to undergo additional health measures that prevent or control the spread of disease;

WHEREAS, Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster for all Counties in Texas for COVID-19 on March 13, 2020;

WHEREAS, President Donald Trump declared a State of National Emergency for the United States of America on March 13, 2020; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the authority granted to the Mayor under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, I authorize the use of all available resources of state government and political subdivisions to assist in the City’s response to this situation.


1. A local state of disaster for public health emergency is hereby declared for the City of Royse City,
Texas, pursuant to section 418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code.

2. Pursuant to section 418.108(b) of the Texas Government Code, the state of disaster for public health
emergency shall continue for a period of not more than seven (7) days from the effective date of
this declaration unless continued or renewed by the City Council.

3. Pursuant to section 4 l 8.108(c) of the Texas Government Code, this declaration of a local state of
disaster for public health emergency shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed
immediately with the City Secretary.

4. Pursuant to section 418.108( d) of the Texas Government Code, this declaration of a local state of
disaster for public health emergency activates the City of Royse City’s Emergency Management

5. PROHIBITED GATHERINGS. Public or private Community Gatherings in excess of 250
people, and as further defined below, are prohibited anywhere in the City of Royse City, Texas.
a. For purposes of these regulations, a “Community Gathering” is any indoor or outdoor event or
convening, subject to the exceptions and clarifications below, that brings together or is likely to
bring together two hundred and fifty (250) or more persons at the same time in a single room or
other single confined or enclosed space, such as an auditorium, theater, stadium (indoor or
outdoor), arena or event center, meeting hall, conference center, large cafeteria, or any other
confined indoor or confined outdoor space.
b. These regulations do not prohibit gatherings of people in multiple, separate enclosed spaces in
a single building such as a multiplex movie theater, school or office tower, so long as two hundred
and fifty (250) people are not present in any single space at the same time. These regulations also
do not prohibit the use of enclosed spaces where two hundred and fifty (250) or more people may
be present at different times during the day, so long as two hundred and fifty (250) or more people
are not present in the space at the same time.
c. For purposes of clarity, a “Community Gathering” does not include the following so long as
visitors are generally not within arm’s length of one another for extended periods:
(i) office spaces or residential buildings;
(ii) grocery stores, shopping malls, or other retail establishments where large numbers of
people are present, but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another for
extended periods; and,
(iii) hospitals and medical facilities.

6. OCCUPANCY RESTRICTIONS. The occupancy limits for Restaurants, Bars, and Coffee Shops
is hereby limited to 50% occupancy as set forth on the business’ certificate(s) of occupancy.

7. In an effort to increase social distancing in City owned facilities, the City Manager is hereby
directed to take measures to facilitate online payments to and interaction with the City. The City
Manager is hereby authorized to waive online payment fees.

8. To develop a plan to mitigate the economic impact on business’ within the City, I hereby direct the
Community Development Corporation to establish a program to address such consequences.

DECLARED this 17th day of March 2020 to be EFFECTIVE on the 18th day of March 2020 at 8 :00 am.

Signed by Janet Nichol, Mayor, City of Royse City, Texas

Our print edition is delivered free to ~15,500 homes in Rockwall and Heath, TX.

To share your good news and events, email

Subscribe to our email newsletter here.

Advertising: 214-342-8000 or