LUBBOCK, Texas — On Tuesday, Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope announced an emergency declaration and ordered that no mass gathering have more than 200 people. A police report shows, by Wednesday evening, law enforcement officers in Lubbock were already taking it seriously.
On Wednesday, the mayor cut it to 50 people (effective on Thursday at 5:00 p.m.) but as of Wednesday evening only the 200-person limit was in place.
An officer wrote in the Wednesday-evening police report, “I responded to [a local business] in reference to a bar check due to coronavirus declarations regarding occupancy.”
The time of the check was just before 11:00 pm in the 5400 block of 4th Street.
The police report did not mention any violation of the mass gathering order, but it did say the officer arrested someone who was asked to leave and came back.
It turns out the business had 70 people inside at a time when the limit was 200.
On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a new emergency order. It was even more strict than the mayor’s order. The governor put a limit of 10 people for mass gatherings which takes effect Friday night just before midnight.
Confused? From Thursday 5:00 p.m. until almost midnight Friday, Lubbock’s limit is 50 people. Then, the governor’s order takes effect and the limit will be 10 people everywhere in Texas – not just Lubbock.
As for the occupancy check on Wednesday night, a statement said, “The Lubbock Police Department is working with City of Lubbock Codes Enforcement and the Fire Marshal’s Office to ensure mass gathering limits are being followed within the city.”
The statement from police also said, “This coordination serves our goal to work with establishments to allow for proper social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Lubbock has, as of Thursday afternoon, three confirmed cases of (COVID-19 sometimes called coronavirus). COVID-19 has so far killed three people in Texas – all them said to have suffered underlying health issues even before contracting COVID-19.
“Suspected violations can be reported to the Lubbock Police Department non-emergency line, 806-775-2865, and depending on available staffing, a representative of one of the three departments will respond to the location,” police said.
There are some exceptions to the governor’s limit of 10 people in one place.
EverythingLubbock.com continues ongoing coverage of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as it impacts Lubbock, the South Plains region, Texas and the U.S.
CORRECTION: The governor’s order takes effect at the end of Friday.