Image: City of Missouri City
The City of Missouri provided an update on local efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 in Fort Bend and Harris counties.
At around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Fort Bend County announced its “Stay Home to Save Lives” order which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25 through 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 3. Harris County issued a similar order “Stay Home, Work Safe” earlier today, March 24, which will also go into effect tonight through April 3. Both orders mandate that citizens:
- Stay home and work safe at their place of residence
- Leave their residences only for essential activities
- Follow social distancing of at least six feet if using outdoor spaces like parks, grocery stores
The orders also:
- Prohibit all public or private gatherings of any number of people
- Close all businesses other than those that fall under essential businesses which include, healthcare operations, government functions, critical functions, and retail stores.
- Allow restaurants to continue to provide take out, delivery, or drive-thru services.
- Encourage religious and worship centers to provide video or teleconference services and limit staff to 10 people or less.
To get additional details and read the full orders, click on the links below:
“As of now, there are no signs of COVID-19 slowing down, so appropriate actions are being taken,” said Mayor Yolanda Ford. “We need our residents now more than ever to stand together and abide by all of the public health, safety and travel guidelines. Fear and panic can easily set in, so it’s important to think logically during this time and for citizens and stakeholders to know that we’re here for them and will continue to provide excellent service to all of our constituencies.”
To ensure safety of our employees and residents, Missouri City is implementing the following changes in operations and is closing City facilities.
- City Hall Complex: Effective tomorrow, Wednesday, March 25, all City Hall offices located at 1522 Texas Pkwy., will be closed to the public through April 3. This includes:
- City Hall Front Lobby: Even though the lobby is closed, residents still have the option to make payments. For solid waste, they may be made with checks or money orders via mail or using a debit/credit card over the phone. For alarm permits, they may be made via mail, using a debit/credit card online or over the phone. To learn more, click this link: https://bit.ly/33N6qJh. For additional details, please call 281.403.8500.
- Inspections & Permits:
- Effective immediately, all pre-development meeting requests are temporarily suspended, and all in-home inspections and interior remodels are postponed. Exterior remodels, re-roof, window, siding replacement, patio covers, and outdoor kitchens may continue while maintaining “social distancing” practices.
- All applicants are encouraged to submit plans and certain permit applications using the online permitting system, Citizen Self Service, or via email to: email@example.com,firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Inspection requests may be made by calling 281-403-8551 (commercial); 281-403-4390 (residential); 281-403-4311 (fire inspection) or by emailing: email@example.com or using Citizen Self Service.
- The next Planning & Zoning Commission meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 8.
- To learn more about the submission process, the Citizen Self Service online portal, fire inspection requests, current capital improvement projects and more, click this link: https://bit.ly/39h7RRs.
- Human Resources: For questions please call, 281.403.8500.
- Community Center, Visitors Center and Old Municipal Courtroom: Will continue to be closed until Monday, April 13.
- Animal Shelter: The shelter located at 1923 Scanlin Rd., will continue to schedule visitations by appointment only. Trap loans will be suspended at this time. For questions, please call 281.403.8707.
- Recreation & Tennis Center: The Center located at 2701 Cypress Point Dr. will be closed until Monday, April 13. For questions on registered events and refunds, please call 281.403.8637.
- City Parks: All parks are still open to the public. New pavilion rentals will not be scheduled until April 13; however, existing rentals will not be canceled. To ensure safety, residents are advised to practice social distancing and stay 6 feet away from individuals; and to not use any playground equipment, benches or other structures. All bathrooms will be closed as well.
- Municipal Court: The MCTX Court, 3845 Cartwright Rd., including the lobby area is closed through April 3. For questions, please call 281.403.8669.
- Quail Valley Golf Course: The Quail Valley Golf Course, 2880 La Quinta Dr., remains open for play. The City Centre, at the same address, is canceling all events until the end of the month. The Bluebonnet Grille is open for carry-out only. Also, staff has implemented several operational changes, increasing cleaning, removal of water coolers/ice chests from the golf course and removal of rakes from bunkers. For more information, please call 281.403.5910.
- Public Works: Staff continues to monitor all procedures at the City’s Traffic Management Center, Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant, and other wastewater treatment plants. For questions, please call 281.403.8570.
- Fire Stations: All Fire Station tours and visits are temporarily suspended until further notice.
- Police Station Lobby: This facility is still open and residents may walk in and use the phone in the lobby (pictured below) to contact officers on duty.
“In addition, to practice social distancing to the best of our abilities, the format of official City meetings will be adjusted. All City Council, Planning & Zoning Commission, and Parks Board meetings will now take place virtually instead of being held in Council Chambers” said Mayor Ford. “Councilmembers and Board members may call-in to these audio meetings, and in the spirit of transparency, residents who wish to listen to the meetings will have the capabilities to do so and provide input.” Additional details on this new initiative will be available on the City website soon.
Residents who participate in the Municipal Solid Waste and Recycling Program are still on schedule to receive pickups. Given the COVID-19 awareness, WCA Waste Corp. is implementing changes including limits to their service hours. If your trash is not picked up by 7 p.m. please contact WCA customer service at 281.403.5800.
To help ensure that social distancing is implemented in MCTX neighborhoods, some Homeowners Associations have closed amenities and canceled upcoming events/meetings. For more details on these updates, contact your HOA. Residents may get details on their HOA and property managers, by visiting the City website, via this link: http://bit.ly/2QoGkH2.
As the financial impact of this pandemic is already being felt around the world, some City utilities are providing delayed billing and waiving late fees. For the next 60 days, Comcast will not cut off internet services for customers who do not pay their bills, and customers of the Quail Valley Utility District will not lose service for failing to pay bills. CenterPoint customers should contact the utility provider directly regarding service issues.
In addition, both Harris and Fort Bend Counties have placed temporary suspensions of eviction within the jurisdictions. For additional details contact the Justice of Peace courts.
To learn more about the effects of COVID-19 and the importance of social distancing, click this link: https://covidactnow.org/state/TX.
“We are taking this pandemic very seriously, and are identifying solutions for the proper balance between the safety of our employees and residents while maintaining City operations,” said Interim City Manager Bill Atkinson. “Although the doors to some City facilities have been closed in alignment with social distancing guidelines and safety precautions, we are still open and conducting business operations via virtual meetings, phone calls, the City website, and other online portals.”
To receive accurate and timely information, residents may sign-up to receive alerts through the MCTX Emergency Management website, www.MissouriCityReady.com and the MCTX Twitter account,Twitter.com/MissouriCityEM.
EOC officials also reiterate the importance of practicing healthy hygiene habits and taking the following precautions to help contain this public health crisis:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Remember to wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Officials also recommend the following actions to those who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem:
- Stock up on supplies; however, do not panic-buy
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
- Avoid crowds as much as possible.
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
- Stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
Individuals who are sick, and are experiencing symptoms like high fever, cough, and respiratory problems are advised to contact their health care provider for guidance on the next steps. Those without a healthcare provider should contact the Memorial Hermann Nurse Health line at 832-658-6766.
Local agencies have also established phone banks to assist citizens with general concerns/inquiries regarding COVID-19. See details below:
For Fort Bend County Residents:
- Fort Bend County Health & Human Services
- This number is staffed Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. & Saturday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For Harris County Residents:
- Harris County Public Health (HCPH)
- 832.927.7575 or 713.634.1110
- This number is staffed 7 days a week 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more updates and news, watch the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov, like us on Facebook—fb/MissouriCityTX, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat—@MissouriCityTX and Nextdoor, watch Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) or download the MCTX Mobile app (available for free in Google Play and the Apple app store).