Taylor has returned to the yellow phase of the city’s reopening plan due to an increase of local COVID-19 cases.

On Nov. 4, Mayor Brandt Rydell relayed the announcement that Williamson County and the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) had changed its analyzed level of the coronavirus’ community spread. Taylor’s reopening plan is based on a similar metric and usually goes in step with the county’s guidance.

“The county has now transitioned back to yellow phase,” said Rydell, “an increase from low to moderate community transmission.”

In September, Taylor city staff and leaders developed a color-coded chart based on COVID-19 risk in the community for a phased reopening of city facilities and events. The plan has four phases ranging in severity from minimal to uncontrolled community spread. Each phase lessens restrictions with respect to social gatherings, municipal building openings, public meetings, and indoor and outdoor events.

Phases from lowest to highest are green, yellow, orange and red. Taylor was considered to be in an orange phase for months before dropping to yellow Sept. 9 then green Oct. 23.

“It was good while it lasted,” said Rydell in reference to the city’s previous green phase level.

Taylor typically changes its current reopening plan phases when the WCCHD changes theirs. However, the mayor reserves the right to make the decision if he deems fit.

“Unless the mayor specifically indicates that we are going in a different direction, residents can assume that if WCCHD has changed their mitigation level, the city of Taylor will be at the same level,” said Stacey Osborne, city communications manager. “Residents should be aware, however, that it may take the city a few days to ramp our facilities and operations up or down to meet the requirements of the current level.”

To put into perspective, citizens should consider current rules on local facilities and events similar to those in effect through most of September and October.

“The guidelines are important because they give people an idea of how much the virus is spreading throughout the community, and what activities are safe at a given level of community spread,” said Osborne. “We trust the health experts at WCCHD to give us the most accurate and relevant information about the virus and its potential to spread in our community, and we developed our reopening guidelines in consultation with those experts so we can all work together to keep the Taylor community safe and protect our most vulnerable populations.”

The city also continues to enforce a mask order for businesses until Nov. 30. The order requires businesses, including nonprofit entities and commercial entities, to develop and implement a face covering health and safety policy so long as the order is in effect. The order is consistent with the guidelines and face covering order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year.

To review Taylor’s face mask order, visit https://www.ci.taylor.tx.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1462.

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