West U Update – Note from the City on Resuming Services:
In response to Governor Abbott’s May 5 Executive Order GA-21, which amends the phased reopening plans for businesses in Texas, the City of West U is currently evaluating what facilities and services can be reopened in a safe and timely manner. Remember that, just because businesses are being allowed to reopen, it doesn’t mean that the COVID-19 virus is gone. We must continue to be diligent with our social distancing, and in practicing good hygiene and wearing face masks when appropriate. Our individual actions will determine our community’s success in responding to this invisible threat.
Our goal is to get back to what we do best – providing you with all of the City services you have come to know. However, at this time, we must still wait for information from our public health authorities regarding when it will be safe for us to resume these services.
Whenever the State of Texas allows cities to resume their services and normal operations, please understand that it will take some time for us to actually get our services and operations underway again. Like many other agencies, West U has been unable to maintain full staffing levels, or to start the hiring process for seasonal workers, during this COVID-19 emergency. In short, the time for resuming recreational services and opening pools will be dependent upon rehiring furloughed part-time staff and hiring seasonal workers (mostly lifeguards). These employees are essential in augmenting our full-time employees and supporting/managing services at the Recreation Center and Colonial Park Pool. .
It is very difficult to determine when all of our services and/or facility operations will be able to return to normal - or, rather, to the new COVID-19 normal. Our goal is to be back to the new normal by June 1, if not sooner. These plans, however, will be dependent upon the data from Harris County Public Health, along with the possible spread of the virus between now and June 1, and, as mentioned earlier, the process of rehiring furloughed employees and hiring seasonal workers.
When will Parks be Reopened?
While we would love to open these spaces now, the overwhelming majority of our parks have features that currently must still remain closed under the County’s order. These features include such things as playgrounds, interactive areas, park benches, and tables where the virus can live and be transferred to those people using the parks.
We are proud of our parks, and, during normal times, these areas are great assets to the quality of life for West U families. Unfortunately, during a pandemic, these same parks can become prime incubators for the communal spread of the virus – an especially dangerous and unacceptable situation, considering that the primary users of our parks are our children.
We have come a long way since the start of this pandemic crisis, and one of the hardest parts of this challenge has been anticipating the lifting of the current “stay at home” orders and other restrictions. Based on information from public health authorities, we can expect to be dealing with this COVID-19 virus throughout the remainder of this year and possibly into next year.
As such, the City’s response to COVID-19 will continue to evolve over the remainder of this year. While we are working diligently to activate our new normal by June 1, this is a tentative date that may have to be adjusted, depending on upcoming information from our public health authorities.
Lastly, the City Council and staff would like to thank you for your patience during these unprecedented times, and we encourage you to continue to do your part in minimizing the communal spread of the COVID-19 virus. Your efforts will help the City to resume its normal services and operations as soon as possible during this new COVID-19 age.
Dave Beach, City Manager
CURRENT CLOSURES AND SERVICES:
For the latest information on the impact or changes to West U services, please visit www.westutx.gov/covid19
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For the latest information on COVID-19 from the county, state and federal level, please visit: