Amarillo rescinds communicable disease order against Howell Sand Company

The City of Amarillo has rescinded a Communicable Disease Control Order executed April 3 at Howell Sand Company, Inc., 2300 E. Hastings Ave.

“We were able to work with the owners of Howell Sand this weekend to resolve the outstanding issues,” said City of Amarillo Assistant City Manager Kevin Starbuck. “It became evident very quickly that Howell Sand is absolutely committed to ensuring the safety of their employees and the entire community.”

“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 to get things back up and running quickly.”

Any employee who was issued a quarantine order will be contacted by the Health Department regarding their next steps.

“We want to get everyone back to work as quickly as we safely can,” said Starbuck. “Howell Sand is an important part of our community and we need them operating.”

Area law enforcement agencies shut down Howell Sand Company Friday afternoon. It is believed the business is connected to some COVID-19 cases in the area.

The company had been asked by the Amarillo Public Health Department to close down operations.

“There are confirmed cases of coronavirus that have originated from that business and now, there is confirmed, significant community spread that has resulted based on their refusal to comply with the orders to quarantine,” In order to slow the continued spread that resulted and originated at that business, we are shutting the business down temporarily.

“They were, on two different occasions, ordered to quarantine staff, and they chose not to. 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," Jordan Schupbach, the director of communications for the city of Amarillo, said.

Howell Sand Company is a family owned and operated business serving the Texas Panhandle and surrounding communities. The company provides aggregate materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, and caliche. It also offers a wide range of services including paving, excavation, demolition, equipment hauling, and project planning.