Stay Safe

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Staying Safe

What do we do now?

It’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still with us. Each of us plays a vital role in continuing to stop the spread and keep each other healthy. Even as some businesses will be permitted reopen under Governor Abbott's order, we urge residents to help us contain the spread by continuing to work and play virtually, use face coverings if you have to be out, and support our contact tracing efforts. On Friday, May 1st, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed an amended order in compliance with State Executive orders urging non-essential businesses to remain closed, continued restrictions on interactions in public, and other steps to contain the spread of the virus.

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Community Guidance as Texas Begins to Reopen

The Governor’s Report to Open Texas provides a full explanation of the State plan to reopen businesses and services. This includes who can open, when, and what restrictions may still be in place. It also provides safety and hygiene recommendations and checklists for residents, employers, and employees designed to help contain COVID-19. Below is a partial list of the key points. Residents should consult the full order for additional details. Business owners unsure of their status should seek legal counsel.

Per Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order, as of Friday, May 1:

  • Essential businesses may continue operations as usual
  • Restaurants, retail stores, and movie theaters can reopen if they choose. Occupancy is limited to 25% of their capacity.
  • All museums and libraries may open at 25% capacity but interactive areas – where multiple people touch things - must remain closed
  • Sole proprietors and practitioners may return to work
  • Places of worship can be open with appropriate distancing practices
  • Outdoor sporting activities with less than 4 participants playing at any one time
  • Licensed healthcare professionals may return to work but hospitals must continue to reserve 15% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients
  • Barbershops, hair and nail salons, and gyms are NOT to open yet – a further decision on these businesses is expected in mid-May

FAQs for Construction Industry

Click here for reopening guidance for construction industry workforce

FAQs for Retail Industry

Click here for reopening guidance for retail industry workforce

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Amended Stay at Home, Work Safe Order

Stay Home, Work Safe pdf

ORDER OF COUNTY JUDGE LINA HIDALGO

Fourth Amended Stay Home, Work Safe Order

Whereas, on March 11, 2020, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency to allow Harris County to take measures to reduce the possibility of exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and promote the health and safety of Harris County residents in accordance with Section 418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code; and

Whereas, on March 13, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued a Declaration of State of Disaster, certifying under Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code that COVID-19 poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas and to thus 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, in March 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance as to individuals, recommending that individuals practice social or physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by staying at least 6 feet from other people, by refraining from gathering in groups, by staying out of crowded places and by avoiding mass gatherings; and

Whereas, on March 15, 2020, the CDC issued guidance as to large events, explaining that larger gatherings (for example, more than 250 people) offer more opportunities for person-to-person contact and therefore pose a greater risk of COVID-19 transmission and community spread; counseling that based upon what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within 6 feet);and urging organizers to continually assess whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce (if possible) the number of attendees at larger gatherings; and

Whereas, on March 17, 2020, the Harris County Commissioners Court extended the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency to March 25, 2020 in accordance with Section 418.108(b) of the Texas Government Code; and

Whereas, on March 19, 2020, after determining that COVID-19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt issued the first Public Health Disaster Declaration released in the State of Texas since 1901;and

Whereas, on March 19, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-08, mandating certain obligations for Texans in accordance with the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, as promulgated on March 16, 2020 by President Donald J. Trump and the CDC, which called upon Americans to take actions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prohibited Texans from gathering in groups of more than ten persons; and

Whereas, on March 19, 2020, the Harris County Judge issued an Order requiring that any person entering a building owned, occupied, or operated by Harris County may be screened for symptoms consistent with COVID-ID;and

Whereas, on March 24, 2020, the Harris County Commissioners Court extended the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency to April 29, 2020 in accordance with Section 418.108(b) of the Texas Government Code; 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 CDC guidelines on social distancing;and

Whereas, on March 31, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-14, superseding Executive Order GA-08, implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols through April 30, 2020 and expanding the social-distancing restrictions and other obligations for Texans that are aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, including limiting social gatherings and in-person contact with people other than those in the same household; and

Whereas, on April 3, 2020, the Harris County Judge amended and extended the Stay Home, Work Safe Order effective April 4, 2020 through April 30, 2020; and

Whereas, on April 12, 2020, Governor Abbott issued a proclamation renewing the Disaster Declaration for all counties in Texas in accordance with Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code;and

Whereas, on April 17, 2020, DSHS Commissioner Dr. Hellerstedt renewed the State’s Public Health Disaster Declaration; and

Whereas, on April 17, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-16, which superseded Executive Order GA-14 and included the same social-distancing restrictions and other obligations for Texans according to federal guidelines that are aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19; and

Whereas, on April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-18, which superseded Executive Order GA-16 and provided among other things, that every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services or reopened services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household in accordance with guidance from DSHS Commissioner Dr. Hellerstedt and to achieve the goals established by the President to reduce the spread of COVID-19; and

Whereas, on April 28, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court issued its Twelfth Emergency Order regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster, which provides, in part, that “[s]ubject only to constitutional limitations, all courts in Texas may in any case, civil or criminal—and must to avoid risk to court staff, parties, attorneys, jurors, and the public—without a participant’s consent:…modify or suspend any and all deadlines and procedures, whether prescribed by statute, rule, or order a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor’s state of disaster has been lifted …”; and

Whereas, on April 28, 2020, the Harris County Commissioners Court extended the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency to May 20, 2020 in accordance with Section 418.108(b) of the Texas Government Code; and

Whereas, on April 28, 2020, the Harris County Judge issued an Amended Order regarding the Use of Face Coverings which, among other things, encourages individuals to continue to maintain social distance of at least six feet when outside their residences and in a public place; and

Whereas, on April 30, 2020, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter opinion to Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta, advising that Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-18 was neither vague nor unenforceable; that local governments were prohibited from allowing businesses to open unless they were recognized as essential or reopened services under Executive Order GA-18; and that services, including “bars, gyms, public swimming pools, interactive amusement venues such as bowling alleys and video arcades, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, or cosmetology salons”, are neither essential nor reopened services for purposes of GA-18; and that local governments are thus prohibited from issuing orders that allow these businesses to reopen under GA-18; and

Whereas, on May 1, 2020, the Harris County Judge issued the County’s Second Amended Stay Home, Work Safe Phased Reopening of Services Order; and

Whereas, on May 5, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-21, which superseded Executive Order GA-18 and relates to the expanded reopening of services as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster;and

Whereas, on May 7, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-22, which relates to confinement during the COVID-19 disaster;

Whereas, on May 8, 2020, the Harris County Judge issued the County’s Third Amended Stay Home, Work Safe Phased Reopening of Services Order, which furthered the goals and policies of the State of Texas as set out in Executive Order GA-21; and

Whereas, on May 12, 2020, Governor Abbott issued a proclamation renewing the Disaster Declaration for all counties in Texas in accordance with Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code;and

Whereas, on May 15, 2020, DSHS Commissioner Dr. Hellerstedt renewed the State’s Public Health Disaster Declaration; and

Whereas, on May 18, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive order GA-23, which supersedes Executive Order GA-21 and relates to the expanded reopening of services as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster; and

Whereas, on May 19, 2020, the Harris County Commissioners Court extended the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency to June 10, 2020 in accordance with Section 418.108(b) of the Texas Government Code; and

Whereas, the COVID-19 virus is contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact, especially in group settings; and

Whereas, a County Judge acts as the emergency management director for the county and serves as the Governor’s designated agent in the administration and supervision of duties during a state of emergency declared by the Governor in accordance with Section 418.1015(a) and (b) of the Texas Government Code;and

Whereas, a County Judge, serving as the Governor’s designated agent in the administration and supervision of duties during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, “may exercise the powers granted to the governor under this chapter on an appropriate local scale” in accordance with Section 418.1015(b) of the Texas Government Code;and

Whereas, a County Judge, serving as the Governor’s designated agent in the administration and supervision of duties during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, may use state or federal resources without prior authorization from the division or the state or federal agency having responsibility for those resources in accordance with Section 418.1015(d) of the Texas Government Code; and

Whereas, a County Judge, serving as the Governor’s designated agent in the administration and supervision of duties during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, is authorized to control ingress to and egress from a disaster area and control the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises on an appropriate local scale in accordance with Sections 418.1015 and 418.018 of the Texas Government Code; and

Whereas, upon Declaration of a Local Disaster, a County Judge is authorized to control ingress to and egress from a disaster area and control the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in accordance with Section 418.108(g) of the Texas Government Code; and

NOW THEREFORE, I, COUNTY JUDGE FOR HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED BY TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 418, HEREBY FIND AND ORDER:

That the findings and recitations set out in the preamble to this ORDER are found to be true and correct and they are hereby adopted by the County Judge and made a part hereof for all purposes.

Summary.The virus that causes 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is easily transmitted through person-to-person contact, especially in group settings, and it is essential that the spread of the virus be slowed to protect the ability of public and private healthcare providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety.Because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, this Order encourages all individuals anywhere in Harris County, to stay at home – except to provide or obtain essential services or reopened services.This Order takes effect upon signing and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on June 10, 2020, subject to the limited exceptions and under the terms and conditions more particularly set forth below.

This order is issued to further the goals and policies of the State of Texas as set out in Executive Order GA-23 and is to be construed consistent with and in harmony with the terms of such executive order.

1.Effective upon signing, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on June 10, 2020:

a.Every person in the County shall, except when necessary to provide or obtain covered services as that term is defined by Executive Order GA-23, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. People over the age of 65 are strongly encouraged to: stay at home as much as possible; maintain appropriate distance from any member of the household who has been out of the residence in the previous 14 days; and, if leaving the home, implement social distancing and to practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.

b.Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this Order except that, to the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they should, to the greatest extent feasible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person. Individuals experiencing homelessness are strongly urged to obtain shelter.Governmental and other entities that can provide shelter to homeless individuals are strongly urged to make shelter available, as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable (and are encouraged to utilize social distancing requirements in their operations).

c.All services except covered services as defined in Executive Order GA-23 operating within Harris County should cease all activities at facilities located within the County. All businesses may continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home). Covered services may continue operating at levels permitted by Executive Order GA-23, and are encouraged to operate at less-than-total occupancy and to permit as many employees as feasible to work from home in order to impede virus transmission.

d.All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are strongly discouraged.Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or living unit.Nothing in this Order affects orders or agreements regarding child-related visitation or custody arrangements.

e.Individuals may go to public parks, beaches, rivers, lakes and open outdoor recreation areas, and swimming pools, as long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household and, in the case of swimming pools, the 25 percent occupancy limits are observed.Park benches, communal playgrounds, and playground equipment may increase the spread of COVID-19 and, therefore, shall remain closed.

f. Interactive amusement venues, such as video arcades, amusement parks, splash pads, and water parks must remain closed.

g.Indoor concert halls and performing arts venues must remain closed.Drive-in concerts are permitted, as long as there is appropriate social distancing, spectators remain in their vehicles, and there is minimal in-person contact between people who are not in the same household or vehicle.

2.In providing or obtaining essential services or reopened services, people and businesses should follow the minimum standard health protocols recommended by DSHS, found at www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus, and should implement social distancing, work from home if possible, and practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation. This also includes the following, to the extent not inconsistent with the DSHS minimum standards, the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, as well as other CDC recommendations.Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings consistent with the Amended Face Covering Order.

3.Religious services should be conducted in accordance with the joint guidance issued and updated by the Texas Attorney General and Governor.

4.If someone in a household has tested positive for COVID-19, all residents of the household are ordered to isolate at home until cleared by a public health authority or medical provider.

5.In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance as determined through guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities should follow infection control policies and practices set forth by the HHSC, including minimizing the movement of staff between facilities whenever possible.

6.This Order shall be effective until 11:59 p.m. on June 10, 2020 or until it is either rescinded, superseded, or amended pursuant to applicable law.

7.Harris County will post this Order on the Internet.In addition, the owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is likely to be impacted by this Order is strongly encouraged to post a copy of this Order onsite and to provide a copy to any member of the public asking for a copy.If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Order or any application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision will not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.


ORDERED at 7:33 p.m. on this 21st day of May, 2020, in the County of Harris, Texas.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

LINA HIDALGO

HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE

FAQs for Businesses

Are special events cancelled through a specific date per Judges or Governors order? 

Special Event applications are suspended through May 15, 2020.

Are Harris County facilities still closed to public?

County buildings remain closed to public access including libraries through May 15, 2020. The County will reassess before May 15th to determine how to move forward.

What actions will be taken if business owners and operators refuse to comply with the Governor’s order?

Initial enforcement of the Governor’s Order will be done through education to try and gain compliance. If the owner or operator of the business refuses to comply even after education, the Harris County District Attorney will be consulted for further guidance.

What is the percentage of customers allowed in general retail businesses?

Non-essential retailers may operate up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy. In addition, non-essential retailers may operate through pickup, delivery by mail, or by delivery to the customer’s doorstep.

Indoor and outdoor shopping malls may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the shopping mall, but no one store in the mall can operate over percent of their individual posted occupancy load. Food court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings shall remain closed.

Flea markets will be treated like an outdoor mall.

Essential business may continue to operate at full capacity, but also can elect to operate at less-than-total occupancy.

Can sports be played?

It depends on the sport. Individuals may engage in outdoor sports provided that the sports do not include contact with other participants and involve no more than four participants play the sport at the same time.

Indoor sports areas may not open. Batting cages, workout areas, and indoor fields will be treated like gyms and are not authorized to be open.

May playgrounds, interactive amusement venues, public swimming pools, bars, gyms, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, and cosmetology salons open?

No, these locales are not defined as essential and may not reopen under the Governor’s order.As the Texas Attorney General’s guidance states, the nature of these services requires in-person contact between customers and service providers therefore shall be closed. Additionally, “cosmetology salons” are defined in Texas law as including barber shops and hair salons. Thus, these businesses must remain closed.

What are the requirements for restaurants, in reference to seating arrangements?

Restaurant shall not exceed 25 percent of the total posted occupant load excluding employees. All occupants shall maintain at least six (6) feet of separation from other individuals not within the same party including while waiting to be seated. No one table shall have more than six (6) customers at one time and spacing shall be provided between the tables so that the social distancing requirements are met.

What is the difference between a bar and grill and a restaurant? What if 51 percent of revenue comes from on alcohol sales?

The difference between a bar and restaurant is the gross income source. If the establishment receives 51 percent or more of the gross income from the sales of alcohol, it is considered a bar. If a business serves food and alcohol and alcohol sales are less than 50 percent of the establishment’s gross income, then the business is considered a restaurant. If the business is considered a bar, but serves food on a normal basis as a portion of its business revenue, then they can continue to operate as a takeout restaurant with no on premise consumption of food or alcohol.

What do I do if my business does not have an occupant load certificate? Will the Harris County Fire Marshal’s office charge me to issue an occupant load certificate?

If a business has been in existence before the adoption of the Harris County Fire Code and has never been inspected or received an occupant load calculation, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office will calculate an occupant load for the business free of charge through May 15, 2020. After May 15, 2020 there is a charge for occupant load calculations.

Museums and libraries are limited to 25 percent of their occupant load and are not allowed any interactive activities.How will this 25 percent be monitored?

Museums and libraries must have permission from their local governments to re-open and, once they have gained that permission, may operate up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy.Museums and libraries must close any components, including child play areas, that have interactive functions or exhibits. Museums and libraries are responsible for limiting occupancy to the 25 percent limit imposed by the Governor’s order.All Harris County-owned and/or operated museums and libraries will remain closed at this time.

Guidance on Using Cloth Face Coverings

Guidance on Using Cloth Face Coverings

CDC Face Covering Guidance

AMENDED ORDER OF COUNTY JUDGE LINA HIDALGO

Use of Face Coverings

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; and

Whereas, on March 31, 2020, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols through April 30, 2020; and

Whereas, on April 4, 2020, the Harris County Judge issued an Order Amending and Extending the "Stay Home, Work Safe" Order; and

Whereas, the COVID-19 virus is contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact, especially in group settings; 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, upon Declaration of a Local Disaster, a County Judge is authorized to control ingress to and egress from a disaster area and control the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in accordance with Section 418.108(g) of the Texas Government Code; and

Whereas, upon Declaration of a Local Disaster, a County Judge serves as her county's emergency management director and as the Governor's designated agent in the administration and supervision of duties under the Texas Disaster Act and is authorized to exercise all powers granted to the Governor on an appropriate scale under Section 418.1015 of the Act, including the authority to control the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in accordance with Sections 418.1015 and 418.018 of the Texas Government Code; and

Whereas, on April 22, 2020, the Harris County Judge issued a "Use of Face Coverings" Order requiring, with some exceptions, all persons over the age of ten (10) to wear some form of face covering in public places; providing for a fine of up to $1,000 for the violation of the Order; and authorizing Harris County law enforcement agencies to use their discretion in enforcing the Order; and

Whereas, on April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-18 which, among other things, provides that individuals "are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings, but no jurisdiction can impose a civil or criminal penalty for failure to wear a face covering"; and

Whereas, a County Judge, who serves as her county's emergency management director and as the Governor's designated agent in the administration and supervision of duties under the Texas Disaster Act, is charged with enforcing the Governor's executive orders and imposing local restrictions that are consistent with the Governor's executive orders; and

Whereas, the Harris County Judge has determined that the "Use of Face Coverings" Order must be amended to ensure that local restrictions implemented to protect the health and safety of Harris County residents during the COVID-19 pandemic also remain consistent with the Governor's newly issued Executive Order GA-18; and

Whereas, given the ongoing evaluation of circumstances related to the COVID-19 vims, the updated recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the substantial 1-isks posed by the COVID-19 vims to Harris County residents and their property, the following extraordinary measures shall be taken to mitigate the effects of this public health emergency and to facilitate a response to the public health threat in order to protect the public's safety.

NOW THEREFORE, I, COUNTY JUDGE FOR HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED BY TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 418, HEREBY FIND AND ORDER:

SECTION 1. That the findings and recitations set out in the preamble to this ORDER are found to be true and correct and they are hereby adopted by the County Judge and made a part hereof for all purposes.

SECTION 2.Face Covering Requirements

Because an infected person can transmit the COVID-19 virus to others before showing any symptoms, the covering of a person's nose and mouth is necessary to help slow the spread of the virus.

1. When leaving one's residence and when in a public place all persons over the age of ten (10) are encouraged to wear some form of face covering that covers the nose and mouth. The face covering may, for example, be a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, handkerchief and other cloth masks.

2. When outside their residences and in a public place, residents are encouraged to continue to maintain social distance of at least six feet.

3. All persons over the age often (10) are encouraged to wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth except when:

a. Exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside alone;

b. Alone in a separate single space, whether indoors or outdoors;

c. In the presence only of other members of one’s residence, whether inside or outside the residence;

d. When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health risk, including exacerbating a pre-existing medical condition or including, but not limited to, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance;

e. When doing so poses a security or safety risk, such as impairing the ability to drive or to be inspected at a security checkpoint; or

f. When eating or drinking;

4.IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT FACE COVERINGS NOT INCLUDE SURGICAL MASKS, SURGICAL N-95 RESPIRATORS OR OTHER MEDICAL MASKS AS THEY ARE A NEEDED RESOURCE FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS.Healthcare workers and first responders on the front-line combating COVID-19 must have priority access to medical masks and other personal protective equipment.

5.Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand washing because these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.

6.Residents shall wash their hands before leaving the residence and upon return, and shall take the following additional actions after leaving their residences:

  • Stay at least six feet away from others; and
  • Avoid touching the nose or face.

7.It is recommended that residents not use disposable face coverings more than three times. Residents should wash reusable cloth face coverings regularly to prevent the spread of the virus.

8.Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this Order except that, to the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they shall, to the greatest extent feasible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person. Individuals experiencing homelessness are strongly urged to obtain shelter. Governmental and other entities that can provide face coverings to homeless individuals are strongly urged to make face coverings available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable (and to utilize social distancing requirements in their operations).Additionally, entities that provide assistance to the needy are urged to donate face coverings to the homeless and to homeless shelters.

SECTION 3. The Harris County Judge will post this Order on the Internet. If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Order or any application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision will not affect the validity of the remainder of this Order.

This Order supersedes and amends the Order issued by the County Judge on April 22, 2020 concerning Use of Face Coverings, takes effect upon signing on April 28, 2020, and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on May 26, 2020, or until it is either rescinded, superseded, or amended pursuant to applicable law; and it is

ORDERED this 28th day of April 2020, in the County of Hams, Texas.

IT IS SO ORDERED

_______________________

LINA HIDALGO

HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE



Click here to download in PDF format

Volunteer to Combat COVID-19

Volunteer to Combat COVID-19

Harris County is taking action to save lives through its work to combat the COVID-19 epidemic. Are you interested in joining our team of volunteers?

We are currently seeking individuals to serve as contact tracers, who will call individuals that have come into contact with those who have tested positive for COVID-19, ask about possible symptoms, and recommend testing.

If you’re interested in joining our effort, Email [email protected] or go to https://hcph.vsyslive.com/ to apply for a volunteer position.

Report Violations of Governor's Order

Report Violations of Governor's Order

Go to https://form.jotform.com/201244433797154 to report businesses you feel may be open in violation of the order or not following appropriate hygiene and social distancing guidance.

You can also call to report violations by calling 832-839-6941.

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Guidance from the State of Texas

The Governor’s Report to Open Texas contains information for residents, business owners and operators.

Keep Myself Safe

Checklist for All Individuals

Churches

Checklist for Churches and Places of Worship_Page_1

Checklist for Churches and Places of Worship_Page_2

Checklist for Churches and Places of Worship_Page_3

Movie Theaters

Cheecklist for Movie Theater Customers

Libraries & Museums

Checklist for Library and Museum Visitors

Restaurants

Checklist for Restaurant Customers

Shopping

Checklist for Retail Customers

Sports

Checklist for Outdoor Sports Participants

Coronavirus
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