Mayor Gunter Declares Public Health Emergency in San Angelo Because of Coronavirus Threat

Protecting our citizens is the City of San Angelo’s number one priority right now. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the world, it is crucial that we take steps to ensure the health of our community and the effectiveness of local health care providers. 

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While we currently have zero reported cases of COVID-19, we want to ensure that we’re taking measures to prevent any spread of the disease should a positive case arise. In order to accomplish this, I am declaring a public health emergency in the City of San Angelo. 

Our goal is to prevent and, if necessary, control the spread of the disease. This declaration prohibits gatherings of more than 50 people in one space, whether in a public or private space. This does not include places where citizens can be within at least one arm’s length of one another, such as grocery stores, transit stations, hospitals or shopping malls. The local health authority has determined that such measures will not only prevent or control the spread of the disease, it will also keep our health care resources from becoming overwhelmed. 

We strongly encourage that citizens stay home as much as possible – especially if they feel sick – and as always, please practice good hygiene. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, use hand sanitizer and do not touch your face. Together as a community we will get through this. Let’s help each other out by being cautious and calm. There is no need to shop the grocery stores like the apocalypse is upon us. Buy only what you need and be considerate of your neighbors. 

As a reminder, any positive case of coronavirus will be confirmed through the City Public Health Department and distributed to the public via the City Public Information office. Be sure to follow the City of San Angelo, Texas Facebook page or visit for all updates. 

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With the flu being much worse than this new thing, what is really going on is what I want to know

Mayor Gunter, with all due respect how can you declare a health emergency when there is NOT ONE reported case of the Wuhan/Chinese Virus in San Angelo or surrounding areas? Approximately 20,000 Americans have died from the flu this year. Do you see life coming to a screeching halt because of the flu? The answer is a resounding no.

Your message is mixed. You instruct your citizenry not to treat this as "the apocalypse" then turn around and basically shut down the city for a disease that doesn't even exist in San Angelo. Your panicked response is typical of today's politicians, rule by fiat and the consequences to your constituents be damned. You should be ashamed of yourself.

When the issue is containment of a virus that is expected by medical scientists to infect 6% of the exposed population with illness requiring hospitalization (for us that’s 6000 hospital beds and respiratory equipment we don’t have), one should hope we have a leader that wouldn’t panic but exercise reasonable measures. We aren’t exactly armed with a lot of solid information at the present time, but the places where it’s really bad started by ignoring it. So even though the Mayor’s action today is certainly NOT beneficial to our business, I appreciate her proactive response.

Nope, not one reported case of Coronavirus in Tom Green County, but what you fail to consider is that once there IS a reported case, it is most likely 2 weeks too late to contain.

Symptoms start to show between 5 to 14 days of infection. But, during those 5 to 14 days, the individual is contagious and most likely does not know they are sick.

So, the time to act is BEFORE the first reported case. This is how contagions work. If you doubt what a lax response from the government and population results in, please read up on the misery, suffering and economic destruction in Italy. They failed to act when they should have, because, hey, it's not "here" yet. But, it was.

Do not put others at risk, those that have health issues already, the elderly. You and most others would most likely recover from Coronavirus, how about those who won't? Think. Look ahead.

Thanks for listening, we will now return to our previously scheduled programming.


One thing I've noticed is that, since the beginning of the #Coronaplague, a common point of contact for all citizens has been retail establishments, yet I don't see any of these establishments taking extra measures to limit the spread of the virus. Customers are, for the most part, free to roam aisles, hacking and coughing as they paw at various items which they are just as likely to place back onto shelves as they are to buy.

Given that the city of San Angelo does have a sizable retiree community which would be especially vulnerable in the event of an outbreak, perhaps it's time we got serious and asked these establishments to, at the very least, provide latex gloves to their employees for the duration of this crisis.

Additionally, the city of San Angelo may also want to require its employees in indoor settings to wear face masks and latex gloves at all times and consider providing additional hazmat suits to relevant personnel in law enforcement and healthcare environments. Retirement homes may also want to enact these measures and consider making at least one hazmat suit available to their staff.

"Over" -thinking is, after all, sometimes better than not thinking an issue through diligently, and vigilance can seem "hyper"-vigilant until that vigilance pays off. If we're going to take this seriously, then we should take this seriously.

I prefer to heed the advice of medical professionals and use the precautions they recommend. The COVID-19 is nothing like the flu of which there is a vaccine and antibiotics to fight it off. I commend the mayor for being on the side of safety, surely she has much more information about the COVID-19 virus than us citizens. More over anyone that has ever visited a large public restroom has surely noticed the large number of people that can't be bothered by taking a minute to wash their hands. If they neglect to wash hands after visiting a restroom then hand washing is probably unknown to them. It happens in both male and female restrooms.

Wabo73, Tue, 03/17/2020 - 04:46

She’s full of crap no authority at all to do or enforce such a pile. City manger should have told her that or there morons too? I know where there’s gona be a gathering of 50 or more on PRIVATE LAND come do something ! Kiss my ase moron mayor

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