On Friday, March 13, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick wrote to Gov. Greg Abbott declaring Jefferson County's Declaration of Disaster.
"I, as county judge of Jefferson County, entered an Order declaring Jefferson County to be in a state of disaster because of the extreme potential for health hazards posed by COVID-19," Branick described.
In his order, any even sponsored or permitted by Jefferson County shall cease; events greater than 200 persons shall cease at all public facilities across Jefferson County; any event greater than 200 persons at private facilities are urged to cancel; events of 200 persons or more that include any population with compromised health conditions or who are at severe risk of severe illness should cease; and nursing homes and senior living center should limit visitation of the public.
The order does not apply to law enforcement, emergency response, court operations, including jury operations, and to all school districts or jurisdiction of Jefferson County.
City leaders are determining what, if any, city events may be canceled in light of COVID-19. The Nederland Heritage Festival posted on its Facebook page at 3:17 p.m. on March 13 that the festival would be canceled, but new information has since surfaced. The festival will continue, and the judge amended his original order, stating that private events held on public property through Tuesday are exempt.
All the county's COVID-19 documents and declarations can be viewed at co.jefferson.tx.us/documents/Coronavirus%20Docs/coronavirusdocs.htm.