STATE OF TEXAS & HARRIS COUNTY UPDATES
Recently, Governor Abbot issued a proclamation amending Executive Order GA-28 relating to mass gatherings in Texas and Executive Order GA-29 relating to the use of face coverings. Harris County Judge Hidalgo amended her order regarding the Health & Safety Policy and Face Coverings.
STATE OF TEXAS UPDATE:
Governor Abbott amended Executive Order GA-28 relating to mass gatherings and issues Executive Order GA-29 relating to the use of face coverings in public.
Outdoor gatherings in excess of 10 people, other than those set forth in paragraphs 1, 2, or 4 of GA-28, the gathering is prohibited unless approved by the Mayor.
Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; provided, however, that this face-covering requirement does not apply to the following:
- any person younger than 10 years of age;
- any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
- any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
- any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
- any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
- any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
- any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
- any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
- any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
- any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience; or
- any person in a county (a) that meets the requisite criteria promulgated by the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) regarding minimal cases of COVID-19, and (b) whose county judge has affirmatively opted-out of this face-covering requirement by filing with TDEM the required face-covering attestation form—provided, however, that wearing a face covering is highly recommended, and every county is strongly encouraged to follow these face-covering standards.
Not excepted from this face-covering requirement is any person attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people and who is not practicing safe social distancing of six feet from other people not in the same household.
HARRIS COUNTY UPDATE:
Harris County Hidalgo’s amended order does the following: (click here to read the full order)
Incorporates and adopts the most recent Executive Order GA-28 issue by Governor Abbott and any subsequent orders by the Governor to expanded opening of Texas,
Health & Safety Policy – Commercial Entities
all commercial entities in Harris County providing goods or services directly to the public must develop, post, and implement a health and safety policy (“Health and Safety Policy”). The Health and Safety Policy must require, at a minimum, that all employees or visitors to the commercial entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings when in an area or performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public,
Face Covering – General Public
Except for the exemptions below, all people 10 years or older shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in a commercial entity or working in areas in a commercial entity that involve close proximity with others. The CDC advises face coverings for people 2 years or older. Face coverings may include, but are not limited to, homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas, or a handkerchief. Harris County residents should continue to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while outside the home.
Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:
- When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside;
- While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
- When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk;
- While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment;
- While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening, for example, banks; or
- When consuming food or drink.
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