LONE STAR, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas city hall and its police department are closed down after an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees.
It started with one person becoming ill at Lone Star City Hall last week, and led to the entire police force being quarantined at home.
“Until further notice, city hall is closed down. There will be no meetings of the economic development board, city council, fire department,” said Lone Star mayor Randy Hodges.
City offices are closed, and four officers and the chief of their police department are all now in quarantine.
"I got a call last Thursday that one of our officers was not feeling well, and I directed them all to get tested," Hodges said.
It started when a city secretary tested positive for COVID-19.
“We had another officer, he had to go back to the hospital, but he’s feeling better this morning,” said Police Chief Steven Blythe.
But life has to go on, and the city still needs to be run.
“We’re in uncharted territory right now; we’re just trying to stay in touch with local and state authorities to adhere to the procedures and protocols. City workers are out in the city taking care of any plumbing issues or infrastructure,” the mayor said.
“My phone’s non-stop. People have called me, they’ve hit me up on social media,” Blythe says.
Morris County Sheriff’s Office deputies, DPS, and Daingerfield police will serve Lone Star temporarily, with the chief passing on emergency calls he’s taking at home..
"We had an assault that occurred the first night we were quarantined, and the county took control of it," says Blythe.
And they have to take care of some things before they return to their offices.
We are going to by-mist the office. Disinfect it and all police vehicles concerned here," said Hodges.
Though two of the officers are asymptomatic, there is no timeline yet on when police officers will return to their duties.