City cancels July 4th events

In response to the rapidly rising case counts of COVID-19 in Williamson County and the City of Taylor, Mayor Brandt Rydell will issue an executive order canceling several upcoming events in the City, including the planned Independence Day vehicle parade and fireworks display. In addition, the Mayor will order the prohibition of all large gatherings and require safety measures for any smaller gatherings in public spaces in the city of Taylor until further notice. The order will go into effect at midnight Saturday, June 27.

The city will also close all parks and open spaces in public parks July 4 – 5. The public will have access to trails and sidewalks for walking and running purposes but will not be permitted to gather in parks open spaces or facilities. The parks and open spaces will close at midnight Saturday, July 4 and will re-open at 4 a.m. Monday, July 6.

Rydell issued the executive order to cancel upcoming events and prohibit large gatherings after a presentation from the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) about a major increase in COVID-19 cases in the county. WCCHD reports that public gatherings are particularly concerning, as the more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, allowing further spread of the virus. The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.

“In many ways this was a difficult decision, because we know that everyone wants to celebrate Independence Day the way we always have—by gathering in public places with a lot of people—and it will be disappointing to not to celebrate that way this year,” Rydell said. “But when health experts tell us that COVID-19 is spreading in our community, and the best way to protect people from the virus is to minimize contact with other people, the decision is easy: we have to do what is best for the health and safety of our community. And right now, that means canceling large gatherings and doing everything we can to encourage people to practice social distancing.”

Under the order, all large gatherings of more than 100 people in the City of Taylor will be prohibited until further notice. Any planned gatherings with fewer than 100 people will need to include safety measures, including the wearing of masks and social distancing, and organizers must submit a plan in writing to City officials before planning such gatherings. The City-wide cleanup scheduled for July 11 will be canceled, as will all Movies in the Park and other activities previously have scheduled in city parks in the month of July. All sports events, including games, scrimmages, and practices, will be canceled until further notice.

While park open spaces will re-open after the holiday weekend, park facilities will continue to be closed. All facilities, including splash pads, skate park, pavilions, and playscapes, as well as practice fields, volleyball courts, tennis courts, and basketball court areas, and restrooms, are closed until further notice. All scheduled activities and rentals scheduled at Taylor City Parks will also be canceled. The Farmers Market, which is considered to be an essential service, will remain open at Heritage Square.

The city of Taylor continues to monitor this ongoing and fluid situation closely with health officials at WCCHD and Williamson County. Updates will be posted at taylortx.gov and on social media as they become available.

For more information, please visit www.taylortx.gov.

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