The City of Amarillo announced this week that has rescinded its COVID-19 Communicable Disease Control Order against Howell Sand Company Inc.
According to official statements, city officials and the owners of Howell Sand have been able to resolve the issues that resulted in the closure action last week.
The shut-down in Texas occurred when the Amarillo Public Health Department asked Howell Sand to close down its operations after several COVID-19 cases were discovered in the area.
“They (Howell Sand) were, on two different occasions, ordered to quarantine staff, and they chose not to,” said Amarillo communications director Jordan Schupbach.
“The result was the spread of coronavirus throughout our community based on cases that were there that should not have happened had they followed the quarantine order,” he added.
The company responded immediately and, according to Amarillo’s Assistant City Manager Kevin Starbuck, the city authorities “want to thank Howell Sand for working with us to get things back up and running quickly.”
Howell Sand took every recommended action received from city health authorities, including quarantine of specific individuals as determined by the Health Department, said a company statement.
The office building and shop were closed and social distancing and protective practices were put in place, and have remained in place.
“The office building underwent commercial deep cleaning and disinfection in lieu of manual self-clean as recommended by the Public Health Department,” says Howell.
“The owners felt they should react aggressively in maintaining a safe environment and do everything possible to insure the health of their employees and customers.”
According to an official press statement, any employee at Howell who got a quarantine order will be contacted by health officials.
Local newspaper reports added that Amarillo city manager Jared Miller said the city will change how it handles similar situations in the future.
“I think we had a lot of things we had to address there. If we learned anything, it’s to document in writing everything we do, and we are going to continue to do that. I think that is something every business that we work with in the future is going to benefit from.
“There were also some breakdowns in communication that resulted in confusion about expectations. We’ve addressed those issues and want to thank Howell Sand for working with us.”
Howell Sand describes itself as: “A family-owned and operated business with a long-standing reputation for serving the Texas Panhandle and surrounding communities.
“We are the area’s premier provider of aggregate materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, and caliche.
“We also offer a wide range of services including paving, excavation, demolition, equipment hauling, project planning, and much more.
Our focus is to provide the highest-quality materials and services for any size job.”