There are several businesses that are closing or will continue to be closed due to precautions being taken from the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Jan Stokes, with SHARE, said it will be shut down for the rest of the month. Stokes has not said if April is affected yet.

She said most of her volunteers, many of them senior citizens, were not going to be available to work.

Stokes said SHARE is open on Thursdays only, so the dates that are affected were March 19 and now March 29.

“We will reassess on Monday, March 30 to see if we will be open in April, but for now we will not be operating the rest of March,” Stokes said.

Customers have made changes to their daily and weekly routines and how they shop for groceries. 

The largest grocers in Wharton, which is H-E-B and Walmart, have continued to be short on some supplies, including food. Since Sunday, March 13, H-E-B has been open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In East Bernard, the city will be offering a delivery service for essential items to its high-risk citizens. 

“We are determined to do all we can to keep our residents as safe as possible. If you are 60+ years of age, please consider using this service,” the City of East Bernard said. “The less exposure to any potential carriers the better. We remain committed to serving the citizens of East Bernard during this unprecedented time.” 

For more information, one is asked to contact East Bernard City Hall at 979-335-6558.

Those who are younger and not finding food at grocery stores are going to convenience stores. Another option is Lowes Family Center in East Bernard.

Scott Craig, 59, said he has placed a mask on his face while working at Lowes. Others in the business have done the same.

Craig said some have offered opinions that he was going too far.

“We come in contact with people who come from miles away and we don’t know who they have come in contact with; we’re on the front lines of this,” Craig said. “All we are doing is protecting ourselves inside a place of business that has a lot of people coming in and out. There is nothing wrong with servicing someone and protecting yourself at the same time.”

When told that one person he was near traveled to Matagorda County, Craig was alarmed even more.

This came after Gov. Greg Abbott had a press conference. One of the things Abbott mentioned was Texas having up to 64 confirmed cases of coronavirus across 19 counties. The governor also mentioned the state’s first coronavirus-related death, involving a man in his 90s in Matagorda County. 

Not all businesses are in the same situation as employees of grocery stores, which are included in the executive orders from President Donald Trump was handed down to Gov. Abbott to execute. This executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. But there are limits being placed on how many people are going inside stores at a time. 

On Monday, March 16, Chad Odom, executive director with the Wharton Economic Development Corp. said the office on Fulton Street inside the Wharton Convention Center, would remain open, but it is avoiding face-to-face meetings at this moment.

The Wharton Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture said beginning Thursday, March 19, it would be offering free e-blast services to its members and all business. 

“We will happily send out any information on supplies, curbside/delivery services, sales, and modified hours,” the WCCA&A said. “During this time we would like to express that we are here for our members and all businesses.”

To expedite the process, send your information in the form of a PDF or JPG to helpdesk@whartonchamber.com.

At Wharton County Junior College, instruction for all courses will resume online on Monday, March 30. College buildings will remain closed until further notice, WCJC said. 

Workforce Solutions careers offices, including the one in Wharton, are closed to the public. He said it would maintain continuity of services via phone and email. 

“The temporary suspension of public access to our career offices is being done to align with recommendations for small group gatherings and safe social distancing practices,” said Mike Temple, Director of Workforce Solutions. “We have decided to take this step to protect the health of both our customers and career office staff. All staff will continue to work normal hours and we will maintain continuity of service through phone and email.”

Visit www.wrksolutions.com/locations to find your nearest career office. The listed phone will be answered by a live person during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also use its toll-free number to connect to your nearest career office – 1-888-469-JOBS (5627), enter your zip code and the call will route to the local office.

NewWave is now offering low cost internet to assist families in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

Beginning on March 9, a 15 Mbps internet plan for $10 per month is available for the next 60 days to help low income families and those most impacted from coronavirus challenges, such as seniors and college students. No documentation will be required to sign up for this plan, NewWave said.

Customers can call 844-546-3278 for more information.

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