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The original item was published from 5/6/2020 6:16:30 PM to 8/2/2020 12:00:05 AM.

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Coronavirus / COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: May 6, 2020

[ARCHIVED] State of Texas Update - Governor's Amends Order Allowing Additional Businesses to Open

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State of Texas Update – Governor Abbott Amends Order Allowing Additional Businesses to Open

On May 5, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-21, which expands the types of business that will be able to open and clarifies appropriate social distancing protocols for all reopened services.

The following is a summary of the items in this order, click here to read the complete order:


Reopened Services – Additional Information:

  • Wedding venues and the services required to conduct weddings; provided, however, that for weddings held indoors other than at a church, congregation, or house of worship, the facility may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the facility.
  • Wedding reception services, for facilities that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the facility; provided, however, that the occupancy limits do not apply to the outdoor areas of a wedding reception or to outdoor wedding receptions.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020:

  • Cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade; provided, however, that all such salons, shops, and establishments must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations.
  • Tanning salons; provided, however, that all such salons must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations.
  • Swimming pools; provided, however, that (i) indoor swimming pools may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the pool facility; (ii) outdoor swimming pools may operate at up to 25 percent of normal operating limits as determined by the pool operator; and (iii) local public swimming pools may so operate only if permitted by the local government.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020:

  • Services provided by office workers in offices that operate at up to the greater of (i) five individuals, or (ii) 25 percent of the total office workforce; provided, however, that the individuals maintain appropriate social distancing.
  • Manufacturing services, for facilities that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the facility.
  • Gyms and exercise facilities and classes that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the gym or exercise facility; provided, however, that locker rooms and shower facilities must remain closed, but restrooms may open.

In providing or obtaining essential services or reopened services:

  • All persons (including individuals, businesses and other organizations, and any other legal entity) should use good-faith efforts and available resources to follow the minimum standard health protocols recommended by DSHS, found at www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus.
  • All persons should also follow, 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, but no jurisdiction can impose a civil or criminal penalty for failure to wear a face covering.
  • Nothing in this executive order or the DSHS minimum standards precludes requiring a customer wishing to obtain services to follow additional hygiene measures.

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, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, sexually oriented businesses, or interactive amusement venues such as bowling alleys, video arcades, amusement parks, water parks, or splash pads, unless these enumerated establishments or venues are specifically added as a reopened service by proclamation or future executive order of the governor.  Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, the governor may by proclamation add to this list of establishments or venues that people shall avoid visiting. To the extent any of the establishments or venues that people shall avoid visiting also offer reopened services permitted above, such as restaurant services, these establishments or venues can offer only the reopened services and may not offer any other services. 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 swimming pools, parks, beaches, rivers, or lakes; 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.

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. I hereby suspend Sections 418.1015(b) and 418.108 of the Texas Government Code, Chapter 81, Subchapter E of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and any other relevant statutes, to the extent necessary to ensure that local officials do not impose restrictions in response to the COVID-19 disaster that are inconsistent with this executive order, provided that local officials may enforce this executive order as well as local restrictions that are consistent with this executive order.

Click here to read the entire order.


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