Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos issued a declaration of disaster for Erath County effective Thursday, March 19 through Thursday, March 26.

A letter from Campos states that his decision came after he and Erath County Emergency Management Coordinator Susan Driskill participated in conference calls with Gov. Greg Abbott and state health officials. Campos and Driskill consulted with city officials, along with hospital representatives and other elected officials from Dublin and Stephenville.

“Going forward, and as we work through the various issues associated with COVID-19, our decision-making will continue to be informed by guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as local health entities,” Campos wrote in his letter.

The declaration of disaster limits the size of gatherings to not more than 10 people and mandates the cancellation of all such gatherings of more than 10 people until further notice. A “gathering” is defined in this situation as a scheduled event or common endeavor where 10 persons are present in a confined space, room or area.

The declaration does not prohibit gatherings of people in multiple, separate, enclosed spaces (including separate cubicles) in a single building such as different floors of multi-level offices, residential buildings, or hotels so long as more than 10 people are not present in any single space at the same time.

A restaurant with or without drive-in or drive-through services may only provide take out, curb-side take out, delivery, drive-in or drive-through services.

Occupancy of a bar, lounge or tavern; commercial amusement; theater; gym; and private club are limited to no more than 10 people.

A person who knowingly or intentionally violates this declaration commits an offense, punishable by a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $2,000 or confinement in jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.

“I ask that we support one another to get over this temporary hump,” Campos stated in his letter. “We have overcome great challenges in the past and I hope we can soon be looking back on this one with pride in how we looked out for our county residents.”