[Marshall, Texas] As the City of Marshall prepares for the full effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on city revenues, the city will furlough eleven full-time and five part-time employees within destination-related city departments currently impacted by COVID-19 community safeguards. To further the savings, the city intends to freeze the hiring of any open positions within all City of Marshall departments.
The City of Marshall is utilizing furloughs to protect the city’s financial condition yet maintain a level of support to employees impacted, through no fault of their own.
In addition to the furloughs, the city is reducing total expenses utilizing Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) Funds, some $250,000 from the 2020 budget.
City Manager Mark Rohr said, “We hope these adjustments are temporary, but we have got to keep a close eye on city revenues to make sure we meet our obligations. We will continue to monitor the fallout to determine if further modifications are necessary to meet the essential city services to citizens and our debt payments.”
In 2020, the City of Marshall will have a debt payment due to $362,000 for Memorial City Hall. A significant budget shortfall in HOT funds could cause a default on that debt payment and further impact the taxpayers of the City of Marshall. Rohr added, “These moves are an attempt to prevent that from occurring.”
It is imperative for the City of Marshall to get on the front end of this financial shortfall as we have already seen a projected 50% reduction in HOT Funds from March and a 10% reduction in sales tax for April. We anticipate the sales tax revenue and HOT revenue to drop further in the coming months based on the community COVID-19 safeguards implemented. “Ultimately, our goal is to be proactive to stabilize our budget and maintain the highest quality of city services, while impacting the fewest number of employees,” stated City Manager Mark Rohr.
Two mink farms in the Netherlands have been put into quarantine after animals were found to be infected with the new coronavirus, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday, urging people to report any other likely cases in the animals.
The Real Reason to Wear a Mask
“…in Hong Kong, only four confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 have been recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, despite high density, mass transportation, and proximity to Wuhan. Hong Kong’s health authorities credit their citizens’ near-universal mask-wearing as a key factor (surveys show almost 100 percent voluntary compliance). Similarly, Taiwan ramped up mask production early on and distributed masks to the population, mandating their use in public transit and recommending their use in other public places — a recommendation that has been widely complied with. The country continues to function fully, and their schools have been open since the end of February, while their death total remains very low, at only six. In the Czech Republic, masks were not used during the initial outbreak, but after a grassroots campaign led to a government mandate on March 18, masks in public became ubiquitous. The results took a while to be reflected in the official statistics: The first five days of April still saw an average of 257 new cases and nine deaths per day, but the most recent five days of data show an average of 120 new cases and five deaths per day. Of course, we can’t know for sure to what degree these success stories are due to masks, but we do know that in every region that has adopted widespread mask-wearing, case and death rates have been reduced within a few weeks.
“We know a vaccine may take years, and in the meantime, we will need to find ways to make our societies function as safely as possible. Our governments can and should do much — make tests widely available, fund research, ensure medical workers have everything they need. But ordinary people are not helpless; in fact, we have more power than we realize. Along with keeping our distance whenever possible and maintaining good hygiene, all of us wearing just a cloth mask could help stop this pandemic in its tracks.”
See chart with each country. Note, most all countries have many, many new cases daily. We have a long way to gl. Texas has >1000 new cases a day. On Friday, April 24, the US CDC reported 37,144 new cases, the country’s highest daily total since the onset of the pandemic. On April 26, the CDC reported 928,619 total cases (32,853 new from the previous day). I hope Marshall’s new cases will be down, but based on what I saw from my car with the crowding of customers I saw as several stores over the weekend, I’m worried about our situation.
IT AIN’T OVER ‘TILL IT’S OVER. STAY SAFE. STAY HOME. WEAR MASKS AND GLOVES IF YOU HAVE TO GO OUT. RELIABLE TESTS ARE BECOMING AVAILABLE AS ARE CASE TRACKING TECHNIQUES — AND GOOD FOLKS ARE WORKING ON THE VACCINE. THERE IS NOTHING HAPPENING THAT WON’T BE SOLVED.
TESTS FOR C-19 (CORONAVIRUS, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2)—my attempt to simplify:
1. IMMEDIATE OR PCR OR ANTIGEN or MOLECULAR TESTS—Might show if you now have or have recently had C-19?
“Molecular tests detect the pathogen while it is circulating in the body, and they are used to diagnose and/or confirm cases for clinical treatment or surveillance purposes. Molecular tests may also detect fragments of the pathogen before it is fully cleared from the body, even if the pathogen is no longer able to replicate or cause disease.”
2. ANTIBODY OR SEROLOGY TEST — Did you have C-19 and develop a protein that might give you some immunity against C-19?
“Serological tests—or “antibody tests”—on the other hand, detect evidence of the body’s immune response to an infection, which can provide information on both current and prior infection. Serological tests provide the capability to detect infections after the immune system has successfully eliminated the pathogen.”