ORDER EXTENDING AND AMENDING
THE ORDER OF COUNTY JUDGE LINA HIDALGO
Stay Home, Work Safe
Whereas, on March 11, 2020, a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency was issued to allow Harris County to take measures to reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and promote the health and safety of Harris County residents; and
Whereas, on March 13, 2020, a Declaration of State of Disaster was issued by Governor Abbott to take additional steps to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of Texans; and
Whereas, on March 19, 2020, Governor Abbott issued the first Public Health Disaster Declaration released in the State of Texas since 1901 and an Executive Order which, among other things, prohibits Texans from gathering in groups of more than ten persons; and
Whereas, on March 24, 2020, the Harris County Judge issued a "Stay Home, Work Safe" Order prohibiting gatherings and providing that residents stay home other than to perform Essential Services as defined in Federal guidance. The Stay Home, Work Safe order provided that in performing or obtaining Essential Services, residents should follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention "CDC" guidelines on social distancing.
Whereas, on March 31, 2020, Governor Abbot issued Executive Order No. GA-14 relating to statewide continuity of essential services and activities during the COVID-19 disaster. which order was to be in effect and in full force until April 30, 2020; and
Whereas, the COVID-19 virus is contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact, especially in group settings, and gatherings of any kind during this time create a substantial threat to public health and safety; and
Whereas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") recommends an "All of Community" approach focused on slowing the transmission of COVID-19 through social distancing to reduce illness and death, while minimizing social and economic impacts; and
Whereas, given the ongoing evaluation of circumstances related to the COVID-19 virus, the updated recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the substantial risks posed by the COVID-19 virus to Harris County residents and their property, the following extraordinary measures must be taken to protect the public's safety.
Whereas, this Amended Order is intended to ensure that the Stay Home, Work Safe Order and Executive Order No. GA-14 relating to are read in conformity with one another regarding continuity of essential services.
NOW THEREFORE, I, COUNTY JUDGE FOR HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED BY TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 418, HEREBY EXTEND AND AMEND THE MARCH 24, 2020 STAY HOME WORK SAFE ORDER AS FOLLOWS
The Stay Home, Work Safe order signed on March 24, 2020 is extended and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020.
Section 2.a.vi. is hereby added to read as follows: Faith leaders who provide religious and worship services by video and teleconference enable Harris County to greatly limit the spread of COVID-19 and the exponential growth of cases. Faith leaders may minister and counsel in individual settings, so long as social distancing protocols are followed. Per the Texas Attorney General's guidance on this topic, if religious services cannot be conducted from home or through remote services, then religious services may be conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. Such services should be conducted consistent with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, sanitation, and implementing social distancing. Faith leaders should consult the Texas Attorney General's guidance on this topic here:
Section 2.b.i.: Essential Critical Infrastructure. Work necessary to the operations and maintenance of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Version 2.0, as well as Texas Division of Emergency Management's (TDEM) online list of additional essential services as they are approved by TDEM (www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices), provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with social distancing requirements of six feet to the extent possible. See Attachment (CISA's Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0). Essential Businesses providing essential infrastructure should implement screening precautions to protect employees and all activities shall be performed in compliance with social distancing guidelines.
Section 2.b.v.: Essential Retail. Businesses that provide and support for food and agriculture as well as businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home, in conformity with CISA Guidance 2.0. Food producers and service providers, including grocery stores, warehouse stores, furniture suppliers, big box stores, bodegas, liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores, farmers' markets that sell food products and household staples. Food cultivation, including farming, ranching, fishing, and livestock. Food production, including the production of canned goods, bottled beverages and other grocery items. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery, drive-thru or carry-out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free services to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. The restriction of delivery or carry-out does not apply to cafes and restaurants located within hospital and medical facilities. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers. Gas stations, auto supply, auto and bicycle repair, hardware stores, and related facilities.
Section 2.b.xii.: Transportation. Businesses related to the operation, maintenance, construction, and manufacture of transportation services. For example, (a) vehicle manufacturers, automotive suppliers and parts departments, car dealerships in order to provide support of personal and commercial transportation services, parts distributors, maintenance and repair facilities; (b) public transportation; (c) businesses supporting airport operations; (d) street and highway maintenance and construction; (e) gas stations and other fuel distribution businesses; (f) vehicles for hire, including public transportation services, Uber, Lyft, and taxicabs, that enable persons to travel to or from employers, service providers, or businesses exempted in this Order. People riding on public transit must comply with the six-foot social distancing requirements to the greatest extent feasible.
All other terms of the March 24, 2020 Order remain in full force and effect.
This Amended Order takes effect at 12:00 a.m. on April 4, 2020 and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020 or until it is either rescinded, superseded, or amended pursuant to applicable law.
ORDERED this 3rd day of April 2020, in the County of Harris, Texas.
IT IS SO ORDERED
HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE