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[1. CALL TO ORDER]

[00:00:02]

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE, I'M GOING TO GAVEL US IN AS THIS IS A SPECIAL MEETING AND. AT THIS TIME, WE ARE GOING TO SAY THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.

WE ARE INSIDE THE COURTROOM TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA THE TEXAS FLAGS.

AND THEN WE'LL GET STARTED PROMPTLY.

COMMISSIONER.

THE TIME IS 3:04 AND THE DATE IS MARCH 13TH, 2020 WE ARE AT 901 LEOPARD.

THANK YOU. THIRD FLOOR OF THE NUECES COUNTY COMMISSIONERS COURT AND OF COURSE, NUECES COUNTY COURTHOUSE. AND I DO RECOGNIZE THAT ALL COMMISSIONERS ARE PRESENT AND THEREFORE I DO CERTIFY THAT A QUORUM IS ALSO PRESENT.

I'D ASKED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AT THIS TIME.

EDWARD, AT THE BACK OF THE ROOM, I DON'T SEE ANY.

I'LL CALL FOR ANY PUBLIC COMMENT AT THIS TIME.

SEEING NONE AND HEARING NONE, I WILL MOVE ON TO THE REGULAR AGENDA AND WE HAVE ONE AGENDA

[1. Discuss and consider taking any action, approving policies, and/or adopting any resolutions, Orders and/or Disaster Declarations authorized by law related to county employees, citizens, and visitors of Nueces County regarding COVID19, Coronavirus.]

ITEM AND IT IS TO DISCUSS AND CONSIDER TAKING ANY ACTION, APPROVING POLICIES AND OR ADOPTING ANY RESOLUTIONS, ORDERS AND OR DISASTER DECLARATIONS AUTHORIZED BY LAW RELATED TO COUNTY EMPLOYEES, CITIZENS AND VISITORS OF NUECES COUNTY REGARDING COVD19, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE CORONAVIRUS.

AND AT THIS TIME, I WOULD LIKE TO LET THE COMMISSIONERS KNOW THAT JUST ACTUALLY A SHORT TIME AGO, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD J.

TRUMP, HAD A PRESS CONFERENCE AND HAS DECLARED A NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH REGARDS TO THIS DECLARATION. IT DOES OPEN UP AND AVAIL OUR COUNTRY OF A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF RESOURCES AND ALSO HELPS TO FAST TRACK MANY OPPORTUNITIES THAT WOULD HAVE OTHERWISE BEEN AN IMPEDIMENT OR AN OBSTACLE FOR A TIME PURPOSES.

SO FOR EXPEDIENCY AND FOR RESOURCES, I BELIEVE THIS TO BE A VERY GOOD THING.

IN ADDITION, THIS AFTERNOON AT NOON AND ALSO PRIOR TO THIS, THERE WAS A CONFERENCE CALL WITH THE GOVERNOR, WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS.

AND I'D LIKE TO RECOGNIZE EXCUSE ME, CHAIRMAN, STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND CHAIRMAN TODD HUNTER. I KNOW HE WAS ALSO ON THE CALL.

THAT CALL WAS TO LET ELECTIVES KNOW THAT HE WAS GOING TO MAKE ALSO A STATE DECLARATION, AND INDEED HE DID AT NOON.

THIS STATE DISASTER DECLARATION ALSO ALLOWS US TO PUT FULL RESOURCES AND ALSO TO BE INCREDIBLY PROACTIVE AND STAY AHEAD, AS THE GOVERNOR SAID, OF THIS HEALTH CARE CRISIS THAT WE FACE. AND SO AS THE PRESIDENT AND AS THE GOVERNOR HAVE DECLARED, WE BELIEVE IT TO BE. I BELIEVE IT TO BE EXPEDIENT AND PROPER AND NEEDED THAT I DECLARE A NUECES COUNTY DECLARATION OF DISASTER DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.

I HAVE WITH ME THE STATUTE COMMISSIONERS THAT THIS FALLS UNDER.

AND I WOULD LIKE TO READ TO YOU, I KNOW IT WILL TAKE JUST A LITTLE BIT OF TIME.

IT'S A ONE PAGER AND I WILL MAKE IT AVAILABLE.

BUT IF YOU WOULD, ALLOW ME TO READ THIS DECLARATION.

YES I WILL.

AS A MATTER OF FACT, BEFORE I DO READ THIS, THERE ARE MANY MEMBERS OF OUR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TEAM HERE WITH US TODAY.

WE HAVE MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY AND WE'RE GOING TO RECOGNIZE THEM.

AND I THINK THERE MIGHT BE I MIGHT BE ABLE TO CALL UPON THEM AS A RESOURCE HERE AS WE CONTINUE IN THIS EXPLANATION.

BUT I'D LIKE TO RECOGNIZE CITY MANAGER PETER ZANONI IS HERE WITH US.

AND AS ALWAYS, IT'S A UNIFIED EFFORT TO ACT WITHIN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CITIZENS OF CORPUS CHRISTI AND ALSO THE CITIZENS OF NUECES COUNTY.

SO WHEREAS IN DECEMBER 2019 CORONAVIRUS COVID19 WAS DETECTED AT WUHAN CHINA.

AND WHEREAS SYMPTOMS OF COVD19 INCLUDE FEVER, COUGH AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH AND CAN RANGE FROM MILD TO SEVERE ILLNESS, AND WHERE AS ON OR ABOUT JANUARY 30TH, 2020, THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION.

DIRECTOR GENERAL DECLARED THE OUTBREAK OF COVID19, AS A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY OF INTERNATIONAL CONCERN, ADVISING COUNTRIES TO PREPARE FOR THE CONTAINMENT DETECTION, ISOLATION IN CASE MANAGEMENT, CONTACT TRACING AND PREVENTION OF ONWARD SPREAD OF THE

[00:05:03]

DISEASE. AND WHERE, AS ON MARCH 11TH, 2020, THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION CLASSIFIED COVID19 AS A PANDEMIC, HAVING SPREAD TO AT LEAST 114 COUNTIES AND CAUSED OVER 4000 DEATHS.

I SAID COUNTIES. IT SAYS COUNTIES.

THEY MEANT COUNTRIES.

AND WHEREAS OVER 1000 CASES OF COVID19 HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THE UNITED STATES, INCLUDING 32 DEATHS. AND THE NUMBERS EXPECTED TO RISE.

AND WHEREAS THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION CONTINUES TO URGE AGGRESSIVE PREPAREDNESS AND ACTIVATION OF EMERGENCY PLANS.

AND WHEREAS THE COVID19 VIRUS SPREADS BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO ARE IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH ONE ANOTHER THROUGH RESPIRATORY DROPLETS PRODUCED WHEN AN INFECTED PERSON COUGHS OR SNEEZES, AND WHERE AS THE CONTINUED WORLDWIDE SPREAD OF COVID19 PRESENTS AN IMMINENT THREAT OF WIDESPREAD ILLNESS WHICH REQUIRES EMERGENCY ACTION.

AND WHEREAS ON MARCH 13TH, 2020, THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, HAS ISSUED A PROCLAMATION DECLARING THE NEW CORONAVIRUS COVID19 IS A STATEWIDE PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER IN TEXAS. AND WHEREAS TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 418 SECTION 418.108 AUTHORIZES THE COUNTY JUDGE OF A COUNTY TO DECLARE A LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER AND EXERCISE THE POWERS GRANTED THERE IN AN APPROPRIATE LOCAL SCALE.

AND WHEREAS A DECLARATION OF LOCAL DISASTER AND PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY INCLUDES THE ABILITY TO TAKE MEASURES TO REDUCE THE POSSIBILITY OF EXPOSURE TO DISEASE, CONTROL THE RISK, PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THIS DISEASE, AND PROMOTE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE INDIVIDUALS OF NUECES COUNTY.

AND WHERE AS NUECES COUNTY WE'LL WORK COLLABORATIVELY WITH THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI. THE CITY MANAGER.

NUECES COUNTY EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS THE LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITY TO ENSURE THAT ALL APPROPRIATE AND NECESSARY MEASURES ARE TAKEN TO LIMIT THE DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTION SORRY, CONTRACTION AND SPREAD OF COVID19.

AND WHEREAS BY THIS DECLARATION I DECLARE ALL RULES AND REGULATIONS THAT MAY INHIBIT OR PREVENT PROMPT RESPONSE TO THIS THREAT.

SUSPENDED FOR THE DURATION OF THE INCIDENT.

AND WHERE AS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY GRANTED TO THE COUNTY JUDGE UNDER THE TEXAS DISASTER ACT OF 1975 I, BARBARA CANALES, AUTHORIZE THE USE OF ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES OF STATE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS TO ASSIST IN THE COUNTY'S RESPONSE TO THIS SITUATION. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED BY THE COUNTY JUDGE OF NUECES COUNTY THAT A STATE THAT A LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER IS HEREBY DECLARED FOR NUECES COUNTY PURSUANT TO SECTION 418.108 OF THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE.

PURSUANT TO 418.018 SECTION B OF THE GOVERNMENT CODE, THE STATE OF DISASTER SHALL CONTINUE FOR A PERIOD OF NOT MORE THAN SEVEN DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS DECLARATION, UNLESS CONTINUED OR RENEWED BY THIS COMMISSIONERS COURT OF NUECES COUNTY PURSUANT TO 418.018C OF THE GOVERNMENT CODE.

THIS DECLARATION OF A LOCAL STATE OF DISASTER SHALL BE GIVEN PROMPT AND GENERAL PUBLICITY AND SHALL BE FILED PROMPTLY WITH THE COUNTY CLERK.

AND I DO INTEND TO DO THAT SHORTLY, MA'AM.

PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY GRANTED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, THE COUNTY MAY TAKE ACTIONS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF PERSONS IN THE COUNTY THAT THIS PROCLAMATION SHALL TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY FROM AND AFTER ITS ISSUANCE DATED THIS 13TH DAY OF MARCH 2020.

AND I HAVE SIGNED IT COMMISIONERS.

AND I WOULD ASK AT THIS TIME THAT YOU ACCEPT THIS DECLARATION AND I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU TO RATIFY IT AS SUCH HERE TODAY.

AND AT THIS TIME I HAVE ALREADY SIGNED IT, AS IS THE POWERS VEST WITH ME.

BUT I THINK WE SHOULD SHOW A A UNIFIED FRONT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH. THIS IS YOURS FILED COPY.

AND I WOULD LIKE TO INSTRUCT THE COURT MANAGER TO SEND A COPY TO THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE SO THAT HE MAY KNOW THAT NUECES COUNTY HAS FOLLOWED SUIT WITH THE STATE OF TEXAS.

AND WE, TOO, WISH TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT WE HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO US AFTER WE EXPEND ALL OF OUR OWN LOCAL RESOURCES.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT WILL GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK REIMBURSEMENT AT THE PROPER TIME. IN ADDITION, WE WILL ALSO WE'VE ALREADY BEGUN THIS AS OF JANUARY 24TH.

BUT WE WILL USE THIS EVENT AS A PARTICULAR CODE WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE AUDITOR'S OFFICE, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF ALL OUR DEPARTMENT HEADS.

WE WILL BEGIN TO TRACK VERY DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE EXPENSES THAT WE HAVE ALREADY

[00:10:02]

INCURRED, THE EXPENSES THAT WE ARE OCCURRING TODAY AND THOSE THAT WE WILL BE INCURRING SO THAT PERHAPS WHEN THERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE REIMBURSEMENT, WE WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR THOSE VERY IMPORTANT BOTH FEDERAL AND STATE DOLLARS.

COMMISSIONERS, I WOULD ASK FOR A MOTION AND A SECOND AND THEN GIVE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A DISCUSSION IF YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

I'VE GOT A MOTION AND A SECOND.

AND ALL THOSE IN FAVOR SIGNIFY BY SAYING AYE.

AYE. OPPOSED SAME SIGN.

AT THIS TIME I WOULD ASK THAT.

ACTUALLY, I LOST HER, BUT I HAD JUDGE I JUST WANT TO JUDGE I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP THIS MORNING AT THE BOARD OF JUDGES MEETING.

I KNOW THAT YOU HAVE INSTITUTED SOME RULES AND THAT THERE WILL JUST LIKE WE WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO COME BACK IN SEVEN DAYS AND REEVALUATE OUR SITUATION.

I KNOW ALSO THE JUDGES WILL BE EVALUATING THEIR SITUATION AS WELL.

THERE HAVE BEEN SOME ACTIONS TAKEN AND I'LL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THAT TO YOU AFTER THIS MEETING ENDED UP AT A PRESS CONFERENCE THAT WE'RE GOING TO TO HOST BECAUSE WE ARE STILL IN THE MEETING. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK COMMISSIONERS IF THEY WOULD LIKE TO MAKE ANY COMMENTS AS IT RELATES TO THE DECLARATION THAT I HAVE JUST READ TO YOU.

AND AGAIN, I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT IT IS WITH GREAT PRIDE THAT I SAY TO YOU HOW PREPARED AND READY AND STRONG I FEEL AS YOUR COUNTY JUDGE BECAUSE I HAVE SUCH A TERRIFIC SUPPORT SYSTEM FROM THE STATE.

I'VE BEEN ON THE PHONE WITH CHAIRMAN HUNTER MULTIPLE TIMES THIS WEEK AND INCLUDING THIS MORNING. HE ACTUALLY ALWAYS CHECKS WITH ME ANY TIME THAT HE KNOWS THAT THERE'S NEWS THAT WOULD BE IMPORTANT AND VITAL.

I SPOKE WITH REPRESENTATIVE WE HAVE HAD OUR DELEGATION SPEAK WITH CONGRESSMAN CLOUD.

SENATOR WE ARE IN CONSTANT COMMUNICATION.

THANK YOU TO MY OFFICE FOR REACHING OUT TO THE ENTIRE SYSTEM OF OUR CITIES AND TOWNS WITHIN NUECES COUNTY.

WE WERE ABLE TO REACH EVERY MAYOR AND OR SUPERINTENDENT AND OR EMERGENCY MANAGER IN ALL OF THE AREAS THAT ENCOMPASSED NUECES COUNTY.

SO I BELIEVE THAT THAT WE ARE COMMUNICATING, WE ARE COLLABORATING AND WE ARE COORDINATING AN EFFORT TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO HELP MINIMIZE THE SPREAD OF COVID19 OR THE CORONAVIRUS. AND I WANT TO ALSO REITERATE TO YOU THAT THIS IS THAT YOU HAVE SEEN EXTREME MEASURES THROUGHOUT OUR COUNTRY, THROUGHOUT OUR STATE, AND EVEN IN OUR LOCAL ENVIRONMENT.

AND THIS IS AN ATTEMPT, AS I JUST SAW, THE PRESIDENT'S DIRECTOR OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE, DR. ANTHONY FAUCI SAY IT'S AN EFFORT TO TAKE THE CURVE THAT IS UP HERE, DOWN TO THIS VERY LIVABLE MOUND.

AND WHEN WE CAN CREATE THIS UNIFIED EFFORT USING ALBEIT EXTREME MEASURES, WE WILL BE ABLE TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS OF OUR COUNTRY.

AND SO JUST AS WE PLEDGED ALLEGIANCE TO OUR FLAG MOMENTS AGO, I PLEDGE THAT WE WILL ABSOLUTELY HONOR THAT FLAG.

HONOR OUR COUNTRY, HONOR GOVERNOR ABBOTT'S ORDER AND DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE HERE TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH.

AND SO WITH THAT COMMISSIONERS, I YIELD TO YOU.

I KNOW IN TARRANT COUNTY, THEY HAD A CONFIRMED CASE UP THERE.

AND SO I KNOW THAT TARRANT COUNTY HAS TAKEN STEPS NOW TO RECOMMEND THAT ANY EVENTS OR LARGE GATHERINGS OF OVER 250 PEOPLE BE CANCELLED.

I GUESS WE'RE NOT AT THAT POINT YET BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A CONFIRMED CASES OR TESTED CASES BUT IN CONFIRMED CASES HERE IN OUR COUNTY, WILL THAT BE A POLICY THAT WE'LL BE ADOPTING AS WE GET TO THAT POINT? OR IS THAT SOMETHING THAT WE SHOULD INCLUDE NOW? AND I JUST GOT COPIES FOR ALL OF US.

IF YOU WANT TO LOOK AT TARRANT COUNTY AND.

I MEAN, YOU'RE SEEING THIS IN COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.

SO IT'S THE SAME LANGUAGE THAT'S BEING USED THROUGHOUT.

BUT I GUESS IS THIS SOMETHING THAT WE WANT TO TALK? BECAUSE I KNOW WE HAVE ANOTHER SAID MEETING.

THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THIS.

AND I'M GOING TO ABSOLUTELY ASK COUNTY ATTORNEY AND MYSELF AND OUR EOC TEAM MELISSA I CAN TELL YOU THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE PLANS TO CONDUCT OUR COMMISSIONER'S COURT ON WEDNESDAY. I ACTUALLY WANT TO TELL YOU THAT WE ARE GOING TO EMPLOY AND YOU'VE SEEN

[00:15:05]

DRAMATIC CHANGES IN OUR COURTHOUSE ALREADY.

YOU'VE SEEN THAT THE PURELL DISPENSERS ALL THROUGHOUT THE COURTHOUSE, THOSE WERE INSTALLED TODAY. YOU HAVE SEEN OUR POSTERS EVERYWHERE.

IT IS NOT JUST THE COURTHOUSE.

IT'S ACTUALLY INSTITUTED IN ALL COUNTY WIDE FACILITIES, INCLUDING OUR BEACHES, IN OUR BATHROOMS. IT IS A WIDESPREAD EFFORT FOR AWARENESS AND EDUCATION AND ACCURATE INFORMATION. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT AND I'M GOING TO ADDRESS THIS IN THE FORMAL PRESS CONFERENCE.

BUT JUST TO ADDRESS YOUR SPECIFIC QUESTION IS THAT I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT EACH LOCAL ENVIRONMENT NEEDS TO JUDGE ITS CIRCUMSTANCES FROM THAT ENVIRONMENT.

AND SO WHAT I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT WE HAVE MADE SOME DECISIONS.

FOR EXAMPLE, OUR WELLNESS LUNCHEON, YOU KNOW, WHERE WE HAVE AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF PEOPLE THAT WE ENJOY HAVING ONCE A MONTH.

WE'RE GONNA GET CREATIVE AND THERE'S GONNA BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A SPECIAL WELLNESS EVENT, BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO BE IN OUR TRADITIONAL FORMAT.

SO I THINK WE NEED TO PIVOT.

WE NEED TO BE INNOVATIVE AND THINK ABOUT HOW WE CAN REDUCE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT ARE TOGETHER. THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL INCLUDE OUR ELEVATORS.

IT'S GOING TO INCLUDE THOUGHTFUL CONSIDERATION TO EVEN HOW WE UTILIZE OUR OUR COURTROOM.

I'M GOING TO TELL YOU THAT CHAIRMAN HUNTER IS ONE OF THE FEW THAT'S ACTUALLY PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND HE'S DOING A VERY GOOD JOB.

AND WE DO NEED TO BE SIX FEET AWAY FROM ONE ANOTHER.

THIS IS A VERY GOOD PRACTICE, BUT I CAN'T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH.

IT'S HYGIENE. IT'S FOLLOWING THE RULES OF PROTOCOL AND ETIQUETTE THAT YOU SEE ON OUR POSTERS. IF YOU ARE SICK, YOU NEED TO STAY HOME.

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS AND ARE CONCERNED, YOU NEED TO CALL OUR NUMBER FOR THE LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITY, WHICH IS 826-7200.

AND I'LL GO THROUGH ALL OF THE ITEMS AT THIS PRESS CONFERENCE AND TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS.

AND IN A FEW MOMENTS.

BUT I HOPE THAT THAT ANSWERS YOUR QUESTION.

YOU'LL NOTICE WE JUST POSTED OUR AGENDA AND WE HAVE AN AGENDA ITEM SCHEDULED FOR POLICIES ON WEDNESDAY. AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE KNOWS YOU CAN ALWAYS BE A PART OF COMMISSIONERS COURT BY PARTICIPATING ON OUR VIDEO.

I MEAN, THROUGH THROUGH THE TELEVISION.

RIGHT. SO WE HAVE A VIDEO OPPORTUNITY FOR EVERYBODY TO SEE WHAT'S GOING ON.

BUT I WILL TELL YOU, THIS LOCAL DISASTER DOES GIVE US THE FLEXIBILITY TO DO THINGS THAT WE COULD NORMALLY NOT DO, INCLUDING VIDEO CONFERENCING.

SO YOU'RE TELLING ME WE'RE AT THE POINT WHERE OTHER COMMUNITIES HAVE BASICALLY CANCELLED EVENTS OF 200 PEOPLE, 250 PEOPLE OR MORE? WE'RE NOT AT THAT POINT YET? I THINK THE GUIDANCE THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IS THAT WE ARE URGING EVERYBODY NOT TO GATHER IN LARGE GROUPS BECAUSE WE THINK THAT THOSE PERFECTLY ALONG WITH THE MODEL THAT THE PRESIDENT AND THE GOVERNOR HAVE GIVEN TO US BASED ON THEIR OWN HEALTH EXPERTS, BASED ON OUR LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITY.

SHE'S ALSO SUGGESTING THAT WE NOT GATHER IN LARGE GROUPS.

BUT LET ME SAY THAT THERE IS A VULNERABLE POPULATION AND A POPULATION THAT'S LESS VULNERABLE. AND SO FOR OUR VULNERABLE POPULATION, THEY NEED TO BE MORE CAREFUL.

WHO ARE THOSE PEOPLE? THOSE ARE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS AND CONDITIONS.

SO I THINK RIGHT NOW WHAT'S WHAT'S REALLY INCUMBENT IS THAT WE'RE ALL TAKING MEASURES FROM THE JUDICIARY TO THE JAIL AND THE SHERIFF WILL BE HERE WITH US.

WE'VE HAD ALL KINDS OF REALLY EXCELLENT PROTOCOLS THAT WE HAVE FORMULATED JOINTLY FROM THE CITY'S PERSPECTIVE, FROM THE COUNTY'S PERSPECTIVE, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND INCLUDING THE JUSTICE SYSTEM.

AND I CONTINUE TO WELCOME YOUR YOUR CONCERNS AND YOUR THOUGHTS.

I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT WE FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT WITH NO CASES OF CORONAVIRUS AND NUECES COUNTY, DON'T WE HAVE ONE GOAL LET'S TRY TO GET AS FAR DOWN THE ROAD KEEPING IT AT THAT NUMBER.

I WANT TO REMIND EVERYBODY THAT OUR WEB SITE IS NUECESCO.COM.

IT LINKS UP AND MIRRORS THE CITY'S WEB SITE AND HAS ACTIVE CURRENT STATUS.

AND IT FEELS VERY GOOD TO HAVE THAT NUMBER ZERO.

BUT THERE ARE THERE ARE WAYS TO KEEP THAT NUMBER DOWN.

AND THESE ARE THE MEASURES THAT WE'RE INSTITUTING TO SEE THAT HAPPEN.

SO WITH THAT, I WANT TO ASK IF THERE ANY OTHER DISCUSSION.

AND IF NOT, LET ME.

I BELIEVE I STILL PUT AN ADJOURNMENT IN MEMORY.

GIVE ME A SECOND. THERE ARE NO ITEMS FOR EXECUTIVE SESSION AT THIS TIME.

AS CONFIRMED BY OUR COUNTY ATTORNEY AND THEREFORE I WOULD TAKE A MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT

[00:20:02]

AT THIS TIME. YES, SIR, OF COURSE.

HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR THE LAST FIVE WEEKS.

AND I THINK THAT SINCE THE CDC HAS ANNOUNCED THAT, YOU KNOW, THAT ANYBODY CAN BE TESTED.

YOU KNOW, I THINK PEOPLE THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THAT.

THAT THING IS VERY IMPORTANT SO PEOPLE ACTUALLY HOLDING BACK THAT WANT TO GET TESTED BECAUSE THEY FEEL THEY HAVE TO PAY $1300.

I THINK THAT IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE EDUCATE THE PEOPLE WHO SAY YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING. THAT WORD NEEDS TO BE OUT MORE THAN ANY OTHER SOCIAL EVENT.

THOSE ARE IMPORTANT THINGS THAT WE NEED TO REALLY LET THE PUBLIC KNOW THAT IF YOU FEEL BAD, YOU KNOW, CALL THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

YOU KNOW, FOLLOW THE PROTOCOL BEFORE YOU GO TO EMERGENCY ROOMS, BEFORE YOU KNOW ALL THOSE THINGS I THINK THEY'RE REALLY IMPORTANT, YOU KNOW.

AND ESPECIALLY THE FACT THAT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU GO AND GET TESTED, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY.

YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT IT WILL OPEN THE DOOR TO A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING.

YOU KNOW WHAT I'M GOING TO CALL BECAUSE I FEEL BAD.

YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I JUST THINK WE NEED TO BE A LITTLE MORE IN-DEPTH ON THE THINGS THAT THEY NEED TO DO TO NOT JUST ON THE SOCIAL AREA, SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT.

I THINK WE NEED TO REALLY TOUCH ON WHAT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN TOUCHING ON FOR A WEEK NOW.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS? WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO? WHAO DO WE CONTACT FIRST? SO I JUST THINK MAYBE SOMEWHERE WE AGAIN HOLD ACCOUNTABLE THE CDC FOR WHAT THEY'RE SAYING THEY'RE GONNA DO. IF THEY COME BACK AND DON'T WANT TO DO IT, THEN IT'S A NATIONAL NEWS LAST NIGHT THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO.

SO THE GOVERNING BODIES SHOULD'VE KNOWN THAT TOO I THINK ON HIS PRESS RELEASE.

HE SHOULD'VE TALKED ABOUT IT JUST LIKE, YOU KNOW, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW.

SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT SOMEHOW WE NEED TO SPREAD THE NEWS AND THE INFORMATION THAT NEEDS TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO COME IN AND GET CHECKED.

MY OPINION. I'M GOING TO ADDRESS SOME OF THOSE ISSUES AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE.

I JUST WANT TO BE SPECIFIC THAT SINCE WE'RE ON TELEVISION HERE AND PEOPLE ARE WATCHING US, THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOU DO CALL THAT NUMBER IF YOU DO BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE ILL, BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE SYMPTOMS IN ORDER TO BE TESTED.

AND YOU ALSO HAVE TO HAVE HAVE BEEN IN A TRAVEL ENVIRONMENT IN ORDER TO BE TESTED.

SO IT IS TRUE THAT WE ARE IN THE GOVERNOR SAID THIS ON THE CALL YESTERDAY.

HE IS VERY POSITIVE THAT WE ARE GOING TO SEE AN INCREASED IN IN TESTING CAPACITY HERE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS. AND HE WAS VERY PLEASED BY THAT.

AND THAT ALSO PLEASES US.

I WANT TO REMIND EVERYBODY THAT OUR OWN TESTING CENTER, MARCH 24TH, IS OUR SCHEDULED GUESSTIMATE DATE. BUT WE BELIEVE AT THE END OF MARCH, WE WILL HAVE OUR OWN CORPUS CHRISTI TESTING SITE OPEN TO HELP OUR FELLOW TEXANS GET TESTED.

AND SO I THINK THAT YOU MAKE A VERY GOOD AND AN IMPORTANT POINT, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO EMPHASIZE THAT IN THE PRESS CONFERENCE SHORTLY.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER COMMENTS? YES, MA'AM. I JUST WANT TO SAY THIS, THAT I HOPE THAT WE MAKE IT CLEAR THAT EVERYONE IS TO BE CALM AND NOT PANIC, BECAUSE WHEN THEY HEAR THIS ON TV OR WHATEVER.

AND THE MAIN REASON IS I'M UNDERSTANDING AND THIS IS IF WE NEED THE RESOURCES, YOU HAVE TO DO THAT SO WE CAN GET THE RESOURCES BECAUSE WE'VE GOT THIS CITY PANICKED AND OTHER CITIES IN THE COUNTRY ALREADY.

AND I JUST DON'T WANT THEM TO PANIC.

I MEAN, I'M NOT SURE WHY THEY'RE BUYING UP THE TOILET PAPER.

I HAVEN'T FIGURED THAT ONE OUT YET.

THE WATER, I KIND OF GET THAT.

I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THEY DON'T PANIC AND YOU REASSERT THAT THERE IS NO REASON TO PANIC AND BE AFRAID.

WE'VE WEATHERED WAY WORSE THAN THIS.

NO.

I THINK THAT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT POINT.

IN FACT, IT'S SPRING BREAK, MANY OF US HAVE CHILDREN THAT ARE HOME AND AS THERE HAS BEEN EXTENDED SPRING BREAK.

AND SO THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEND VALUABLE AND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES AND YOUR FAMILY. AND WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE INFORMED.

BUT THE POINT OF THIS DECLARATION IS TO ALLOW US TO CREATE THE RESOURCES THAT WE KNOW THAT WE'RE GOING TO NEED.

IF, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO DO CERTAIN, YOU KNOW, CREATE CERTAIN OPPORTUNITIES FOR OURSELVES. AND I WILL SAY THAT GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARLY LOCAL GOVERNMENT, DOES BEAR A HEAVY BURDEN ON MANY MANDATES THAT THE STATE GIVES US.

AND SO WHEN THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT, YOU MUST DO TAKE THOSE STEPS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU QUALIFY FOR YOUR FAIR SHARE.

[00:25:05]

I DON'T KNOW IF A FEW OF YOU REMEMBER IN THE AUDIENCE, BUT I KNOW THE COMMISSIONERS WILL HELP HOW GOOD IT WAS THAT SIX MONTHS AGO WE PASSED OUR POLICY TO INCLUDE NONEXEMPT EMPLOYEES IN OUR FINANCIAL POLICY.

WE LEARNED DURING HARVEY THAT THEY WERE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR ALL THE MONEY THAT WE EXPENDED THAT WE COULD HAVE BEEN REIMBURSED FOR.

SO SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU DO ALL OF THE NECESSARY PRELIMINARY ACTIONS. THIS IS WHAT WE CALL BEING PROACTIVE RATHER THAN REACTIVE.

AND I THINK OUR COUNTY IS IN A VERY GOOD AND STRONG PLACE TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE ANY TYPE OF CRISIS THAT COMES OUR WAY.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, THERE ARE 12 COUNTIES THAT THAT COUNT ON US IN OUR COG, YOU KNOW, AS THE REGIONAL HEALTH CARE.

AND I'M VERY MINDFUL OF THAT.

SO WHEN I DECLARE THIS TODAY, IT'S NOT JUST TO GET THE RESOURCES FOR OURSELVES, BUT IT'S TO BECOME A REGIONAL LEADER.

SO THAT WHEN CALLED UPON BY OUR FRIENDS IN DUVALL OR IN KENNEDY OR IN CLAYBROOK ARANSAS ASPECT OF IT, BECAUSE IF WE PROPERLY DOCUMENT AND WE PROBABLY, YOU KNOW, CREATE THAT REIMBURSEMENT SCHEDULE, WHEN AND IF THOSE DOLLARS ARE AVAILABLE, WE CAN SEEK REIMBURSEMENT. I THINK IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT POINT THAT WE ARE AN URBAN CENTER.

WE ARE A TRAUMA CENTER.

WE ARE THE LARGEST PEDIATRIC TRAUMA CENTER.

AND THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE THAT WE PLAY.

AND SO IT'S INCUMBENT UPON US TO REMAIN VERY CALM AND VERY STEADY AND BUT TAKE EVERY PRECAUTION THAT WE NEED.

SO I WANT TO THANK THE COMMISSIONERS WHO LITERALLY ON A MOMENT'S NOTICE, A FEW HOURS NOTICE, JOIN ME HERE TODAY AT NUECES COUNTY'S COMMISSIONERS COURT TO IN A SHOW OF SOLIDARITY AND UNITY.

ABSOLUTELY TAKE THE ACTION AS WAS REQUIRED AND ALSO TO SHOW THE GOVERNOR THAT WE, TOO, ARE READY TO HELP OUR FELLOW CITIZENS.

AND I THINK YOU'VE TOUCHED ON SOMETHING I WANNA BE REALLY BRIEF.

THIS IS PROACTIVE.

AND I THINK THAT IS A REALLY IMPORTANT WORD THAT EVERYBODY LISTENING TAKES OUT OF THIS.

THERE HAS NOT BEEN A CATASTROPHE THAT HAS HAPPENED THAT WE ARE REACTING TO.

THIS IS A PROACTIVE MEASURE AND AN IMPORTANT PROACTIVE MEASURE TO GET AHEAD OF THIS.

AND I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT.

WE'RE IN VERY UNCHARTED WATERS IN THIS VIRUS ALL OVER THE WORLD.

NOBODY REALLY KNOWS EXACTLY HOW THIS IS GOING TO PLAY OUT.

SO I THINK BY BEING PROACTIVE, IT COULD SEND THE WRONG MESSAGE IF IT'S PORTRAYED WRONG AND IT COULD INSTILL AND CAUSE PANIC.

AND IT SHOULDN'T IT SHOULD IN FACT INSTILL CONFIDENCE THAT YOUR GOVERNMENT AND ALL OF THOSE AROUND YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN BEFORE IT GETS BAD IN NUECES COUNTY IN HOPES THAT IT WILL NOT GET BAD IN NUECES COUNTY.

SO I THINK THAT PROACTIVE WORD IS VERY IMPORTANT.

AND I APPRECIATE THAT. AND I APPRECIATE THE NON PANIC APPROACH THAT WE'VE TAKEN HERE TODAY, BECAUSE I THINK THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH, AS ALWAYS.

IT'S AN HONOR TO SERVE WITH ALL OF YOU AND PARTICULARLY IN TIMES OF NEED THAT WE CAN COME TOGETHER LIKE THIS.

DO I HAVE A MOTION TO ADJOURN?

[ Adjournment in Memory (upon request)]

GOT A MOTION AND A SECOND BY COMMISSIONER GONZALEZ.

IS THERE ANYONE THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO ADJOURN IN MEMORY OF TODAY? I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADJOURN IN MEMORY OF ALL THOSE AROUND THE WORLD WHO HAVE SUFFERED AT THE FATE OF COVID19.

AND WE ASK FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND OUR THOUGHTS FOR OUR PRESIDENT, OUR GOVERNOR AND ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT THEY MAY BE INCLUDED IN YOUR PRAYERS AS THEY ARE FACING DIFFICULT DECISIONS AND AN INCREDIBLY DYNAMIC SITUATION.

AND WITH THAT, I'D LIKE TO ADJOURN AT I GUESS THAT'S 3:33.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.