On Tuesday, Anna mayor Nate Pike, Anna ISD Superintendent Mike Comeaux and Anna Area Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Hall released a joint video message updating residents on the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Pike declared a state of emergency, paving the way for city access to federal funds and resources to combat the crisis.

This followed the city’s decision last week to partially activate its emergency operations center in anticipation of further developments.

In an effort to adhere to government health guidelines, he announced that the city had suspended all board meetings until further notice, and that utility payments would no longer be accepted in person. Payment will now be accepted at the utility payment kiosk, online or over the phone.

The March 24 Anna City Council meeting will proceed as scheduled. However, Pike asked the community to stay at home in order to maintain proper social distancing. He added that the city would do its best to provide a video recording of the meeting.

“I want you all to know that our city has shown strength and is pulling together to help one another,” Pike said. “City officials are taking this situation very seriously and together we are doing everything in our power to limit the effects of this virus.”

Anna ISD schools will be closed at least through March 27. Classes will be replaced with online instruction and other alternative options.

Both online instruction and curriculum packets will be available to students beginning March 23.

Superintendent Comeaux also asked parents to complete AISD’s online technology survey so that the district can better address their needs.

Meals for students who need them will be available for curbside pickup from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. at the three elementary school campuses. Parents are asked to bring a list of the students they are picking up for.

“The decision to close school is always a very difficult one because we are always very aware of the burden that this puts upon individual families,” Comeaux said.

Hall made a point of emphasizing how the city, school district and chamber were working together to implement appropriate policies.

Restaurants are stepping up their cleaning policies, and Hall advised patrons to wash hands frequently.

He added that long-term shortages of toilet paper and other grocery items were not expected. It simply may take a little longer for supplies to reach store shelves.

“We can do our part by being kind and acting neighborly when shopping, preparing for our normal grocery list and purchasing gift cards to local businesses which can be used later,” Hall said.