Terrell Mayor Rick Carmona on Wednesday evening declared a public health emergency in Terrell, ordering the closure of theaters, nightclubs, taverns and a variety of other establishments.

Included in the declaration are art galleries, bowling alleys, community halls, dance halls, exhibit halls, gymnasiums, lecture halls, libraries, museums, and pool and billiards parlors.

The declaration does not include restaurants, but the city is urging those businesses to limit seating. Many restaurants in Terrell have already limited their service to drive-thru or take-out customers.

“The data reasonably tells me that COVID-19 is rapidly spreading throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and will soon become a major health threat to Terrell’s most vulnerable citizens,” Carmona said in a message to Terrell residents. “The best-known cure is simple prevention. The earlier we scale up our prevention efforts, the better our outcome will be. Please review our declaration today and take heart that your personal effort to calmly follow the guidance will make a difference. Thank you and God bless.”

Carmona encourages all citizens, business and community groups to adhere to recommendations issued by the Center for Disease Control.

Carmona’s declaration follows one made earlier Wednesday by Kaufman County Judge Hal Richards, which did not order the closure of any businesses. As of Wednesday morning, there had been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kaufman County. The declaration gives the county tools to respond to an outbreak and receive compensation for costs related to emergency efforts.

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