State of Texas Update – Governor’s Exec. Order GA-18 Starts to Reopening Texas
The following updates relates to the Governor Abbott’s order today to reopen Texas, which layouts the framework towards accomplishing that goal. Additionally, over the next couple of days you will be receiving information from West U on changes/updates to City facilities and services as it relates to this order. The City Council and staff appreciate your patience during the trying time and we all look forward towards a return to normalcy.
Governor’s Executive Order GA-18
On April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott signed Executive Order GA-18 relating to the expanded reopening of services as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster.
The City has received emails concerning Harris County Judge Hidalgo’s mandatory face covering that became effective on Monday April 27. The Governor’s order today supersedes the County’s order for mandatory face covering requirement. While the State of Texas and West U strongly encourage the use of the face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is not mandatory.
The Governor’s Report to Open Texas
The State has published guidelines and health protocols for all Texans to adhere to while we reopen Texas. Click here to read the full Report to Open Texas or visit www.gov.texas.gov/opentexas.
The following is a majority of information listed in the Governor’s order, but not a complete list – click here to read the full order:
Every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services or reopened services, minimize social gathering and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. People over the age of 65, however, are strongly encourage to stay at home as much as possible; to 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, to implement social distancing and to practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.
- “Essential Services” are listed in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 3.0 (www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices)
- “Reopened Services” shall consist of the following to the extent they are not already “essential services:”
- Retail services that may be provided through pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customers doorstep
- Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 1, 2020:
- In-store retail services, for retail establishments that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the retail establishment.
- Dine-in restaurant services, for restaurants that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the restaurant; provided, however, that (a) this applies only to restaurants that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages and are therefore not required to post the 51 percent sign required by Texas law as determined by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and (b) valet services are prohibited except for vehicles with placards or plates for disabled parking.
- Movie theaters that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of any individual theater for any screening.
- Shopping malls that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the shopping mall; provided, however, that within shopping malls, the food court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed.
- Museums and libraries that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy; provided, however, that (a) local public museums and local public libraries may so operate only if permitted by the local government, and (b) any components of museums or libraries that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, must remain closed.
- For Texas counties that have filed with DSHS, and are in compliance with, the requisite attestation form promulgated by DSHS regarding five or fewer cases of COVID-19, those in-store retail services, dine-in restaurant services, movie theaters, shopping malls, and museums and libraries, as otherwise defined and limited above, may operate at up to 50 percent (as opposed to 25 percent) of the total listed occupancy.
- Services provided by an individual working alone in an office.
- Golf course operations.
- Local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government.
- Such additional services as may be enumerated by future executive orders or proclamations by the governor.
Religious services should be conducted in accordance with the joint guidance issued and updated by the attorney general and governor.
People shall avoid visiting bars, gyms, public swimming pools, interactive amusement venues such as bowling alleys and video arcades, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, or cosmetology salons. The use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for food and drinks remains allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
This executive order does not prohibit people from accessing essential or reopened services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential or reopened services, visiting parks, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging, bicycling, or other outdoor sports, so 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.
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.
In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance by students and shall not recommence before the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
This executive order shall supersede any conflicting order issued by local officials in response to the COVID-19 disaster, but only to the extent that such a local order restricts essential services or reopened services allowed by this executive order, allows gatherings prohibited by this executive order, or expands the list of essential services or the list or scope of reopened services as set forth in this executive order.
For the latest information on the impact to West U services, please visit www.westutx.gov/covid19
To receive email updates form West U on COVID-19, please visit www.westutx.gov/list.aspx and under News Flash select Coronavirus / COVID-19 Updates to subscribe. If you know someone who is not receiving these updates, please encourage them to sign up.
For the latest information on COVID-19 from the county, state and federal level, please visit: