Katy City Council extends emergency declaration, tables appointment of health authority

By R. Hans Miller | Times Senior Reporter
Posted 4/6/20

During a special meeting held April 6 at 3 p.m., the Katy City Council voted to extend the city’s emergency declaration to match the state’s declaration of a health emergency associated …

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Katy City Council extends emergency declaration, tables appointment of health authority

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During a special meeting held April 6 at 3 p.m., the Katy City Council voted to extend the city’s emergency declaration to match the state’s declaration of a health emergency associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, including its expiration. Council also voted to table an agenda item calling for a health authority for the city to be appointed.

“In order to place the City in the best position to receive possible assistance from state and federal agencies it is recommended that the Mayor issue a Disaster Proclamation that lasts for seven days and that the City Council pass a resolution extending the Disaster Proclamation until it is terminated by City Council action,” Katy City Attorney Art Pertile III advised Mayor Bill Hastings in a letter dated April 3.

The meeting was held virtually rather than in-person to protect the health of council members and the general public.

Council approved the measure to extend the declaration but held back on declaring a health authority for the city. A health authority is a physician that advises the council regarding medical emergencies and public health issues.

Currently, the default public health authority for the city is Dr. Umair Shah, the health authority for Harris County but the council and mayor would like to have a physician specifically for Katy, Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris said. No nominees were discussed at the meeting, Harris said.

“It was tabled until Thursday's special meeting to allow the Emergency Operation Coordinator and Katy Police Captain Bryon Woytec and staff time to locate and agree to a medical professional qualified and available for the city,” Harris said.

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