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Closing, cancelations due to coronavirus concerns

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

As the county issued a declaration of emergency due to the coronavirus, local businesses and events are canceled, or postponed. Here is a list of several of them. As this is a constantly changing information, the latest information can be found at orangeleader.com.

Several restaurants such as Burger King, Whataburger, and Jumping Bean have closed the lobbies. The businesses remain open as a drive-thru only.

All AgriLife Extension programs, meetings, events, activities have been canceled through April 3 including the Health Fair. The fair will be rescheduled at a later date.

AgriLife Extension will be working normal business hours.

AARP Taxaide has announced that all Taxaide sites in the country will be closed commencing March 16th until further notice.  This includes the Orange Library Taxaide site at the Orange Public Library.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Beaumont Family Luncheon for the Alzheimer’s Association scheduled for March 26 is being rescheduled, date TBD.  

Out of precaution, the City of Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau has canceled the Family Fun & Food Fest scheduled to take place at the Riverfront Boardwalk and Pavilion on Saturday, March 21.

The City of Orange is saddened to make this decision; however, the health and well-being of our community, citizens, and visitors is of utmost importance. Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Orange County, the City of Orange is taking precautionary measures to reduce unnecessary risks.

After much consideration, Tekoa Academy of Accelerated Studies STEM School has decided to close ALL campuses in Port Arthur and Orange until Monday, March 23, 2020.  Breakfast and Lunches will still be available for students to pick up.  If students are unable to pick up their meals, please contact 409-982-5400.

TxDOT Safety Rest Areas remain open, as are the restrooms at our Travel Information Centers. Only the lobbies of these centers are closed until further notice. 

Efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus have prompted the suspension of seven Volunteer Income Tax Assistance free tax preparation sites in Southeast Texas.  

The Southeast Texas VITA coalition this year operated the following seven sites, all of which have suspended activities.

  • The Gloria Ramirez Neighborhood Resource Center, 2850 Gulf St., Beaumont.
  • United Way of Beaumont and North Jefferson County, 700 North St., Beaumont.
  • United Way of Mid- and South-Jefferson County, Port Arthur.
  • Catholic Charities, 2780 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont.
  • St. Vincent DePaul Society, 3730 FM 160 N., Raywood.
  • Jackson Community Center, 520 W. Decatur Ave., Orange.
  • Bridge City Library 101 Parkside Dr., Bridge City. 

“We regret having to suspend operations at these sites,” said Jon Korejwa, program director. “We are, however, committed to doing what is right and best for our clients as well as the community in general and already begun taking extra precautions before public officials began calling for restrictions of the number of people in group gatherings.”

Stark Museum of Art, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center and the W.H. Stark House are to close beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and will remain closed until further notice. This includes general admission and all venue offices including The Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation. 

All special programming and events scheduled at Stark Cultural Venues will be canceled through May 1, 2020. 

Tad McKee, CEO of The Nelda C. and H. J. Lutcher Stark Foundation said, “Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our community and employees. We want to be responsible and help keep our patrons, staff, and volunteers healthy.” 

The Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation is monitoring the progress of the Covid-19 virus and following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will update as needed. 

Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce is also operating on reduced hours due to the virus. It is asking those needing to stop by to call 409-883-3536 instead of coming by office. 

The Chamber will be postponing several upcoming events, including: 

  • Breakfast Connections
  • All Ribbon Cuttings
  • Student and Employee of the Month

In an effort to reduce the need for in-person transactions, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) worked with Governor Greg Abbott and our stakeholders to temporarily waive certain requirements for vehicle registration, vehicle titling, and disabled parking placards.

On March 13, Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation, declaring a state of disaster for all counties in Texas due to the threat of COVID-19. 

Governor Abbott also issued a statement on Monday, granting a temporary extension to obtain initial registration, renewal of registration, vehicle titling, and renewal of a permanent disabled parking placard. Governor Abbott also granted a temporary extension for an individual with an expired 30-day temporary permit to obtain another permit or Texas registration.

The temporary waiver applies to vehicle owners in all Texas counties as set forth in the above-referenced proclamation and statement. This temporary waiver is in effect until 60 days after TxDMV notifies the public that normal vehicle registration, vehicle titling, and related services have resumed. The 60-day period will be the same for all counties.

The purpose of the waiver is to prevent customers from having to physically visit a county tax assessor-collector office to obtain initial registration, to obtain a 30-day temporary permit, to transfer title; or to renew a registration or a permanent disabled parking placard. Customers may continue to renew their registration online at www.TxDMV.gov

At this time, TxDMV continues to fill online registration sticker requests and process all other online services.

TxDMV has informed law enforcement agencies and the offices of the county tax assessor-collectors of the temporary waiver.