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Governor Abbott Issues Face Mask Order, Prohibits gatherings of more Than 10
Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-29 which requires the wearing of face masks statewide beginning July 3. The order applies to all people age 10 and older while in a public place or commercial building. Individuals who violate the order will receive a warning for the first offense and a $250 fine for subsequent offenses.
Exceptions to the face mask requirement are while eating and drinking, while exercising outdoors, while swimming, while driving alone or with household members or while obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the mask.
The Governor also allowed prohibiting gathering of more than 10 people.
These restrictions will remain in place indefinitely.
LATEST BELL COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION
A new dashboard has been launched providing updated Bell County COVID-19 case numbers and statistics.
Mayor Segarra Issues Directive #4 Requiring Masks in Killeen
Killeen Mayor Jose Segarra issued Directive #4 today requiring all people age 10 and older in Killeen to wear face coverings while in public places where six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. It also requires businesses in Killeen to require employees and patrons to wear face coverings while on their premises with certain exceptions. The directive is in effect July 2 through 31, 2020.
The Declaration of Local State of Disaster for Public Health Emergency, which was approved by City Council March 24, 2020, grants the Mayor the authority to issue directives to protect the safety and welfare of the public by slowing the spread of the virus.
Effective at 12:01 a.m. July 2, all people 10 years of age or older must wear a face covering in all public places where six feet of separation cannot be maintained and in all businesses as required. The City continues to stress the importance of staying home when sick, washing hands frequently and keeping social distance from those who are not members of your household.
Exceptions to the face covering mandate are while one is consuming food or drink, exercising, driving alone or with members of the same household, while pumping gas, while operating outdoor equipment and while in certain facilities that utilize surveillance.
Unless otherwise prescribed by executive order of the Governor of Texas, all Killeen businesses that provide goods and services to the public must require, at a minimum, that all employees and visitors wear face coverings when at least six feet of separation cannot be maintained. Businesses are also required to develop and implement a health and safety policy and post it conspicuously within five days. Businesses may refuse service to customers failing to comply.
Individual penalties are not permitted, but businesses that fail to comply may be fined up to $1,000 for each day of violation.
The City of Killeen is requiring masks of all employees and visitors at City facilities.
Governor Abbott Issues New Order for State
Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-28 June 26 revising the Open Texas Plan direction given in Phase 3.
Effective June 26 at noon:
- Outdoor gatherings may not exceed 100 people
- Bars and clubs are closed and may only operate for drive-thru, pick-up or delivery
- A 50% occupancy limit has been placed on outdoor sporting events, pools and water amusements, museums, libraries
Effective June 29:
- Restaurant occupancy will be reduced from 75% to 50%
There is no occupancy limit for essential businesses, religious institutions, government operations, child-care services, youth camps and recreational sports programs. All of these entities should use established health and safety guidelines.
Personal services including salons, barber shops, nail studios, tanning services, tattoo and piercing establishments, massage studios, hair treatment services and similar operations may continue at current capacity so long as 6-foot distancing is maintained.
All other businesses are restricted to a maximum 50% occupancy.
Bell County Issues Directive Recommending Masks
Bell County Commissioners Court issued Bell County Directive #8, which is in effect June 29 through July 13, 2020. It strongly encourages all people age 10 and older in Bell County to wear face coverings when in public places where social distancing cannot be maintained. It also strongly recommends all businesses that provide goods or services to the public require employees, volunteers and visitors to wear face masks in any situation that will involve coming within six feet of others.
Certain exceptions to the order include while consuming food or drink, while driving alone or with members of the same household and while performing outdoor activities such as exercising, fueling and operating outdoor equipment.
The directive continues to stress the need to social distance, wash hands and stay home when sick.
GOVERNOR ABBOTT StartS PHASE 3 OF OPEN TEXAS
Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-26 June 3, which implements Phase 3 of his Open Texas Plan. In general, this phase allows all businesses in Texas to begin operating immediately at up to 50% capacity, with some exceptions. Notable changes include:
- Outdoor events of 500 or more people are allowed with public health precautions
- Hair salons, barber shops, nail studios, tanning salons and other personal services may operate at whatever capacity ensures 6 feet of social distancing space between work stations
- Restaurants may continue to operate at up to 50% indoor capacity and increase their maximum table size to 10 persons
- Starting June 12, restaurants can increase indoor seating to 75%
- Bars may operate at up to 50% indoor capacity so long as patrons are seated
- Gyms may increase capacity to 50%
- Bowling alleys, bingo halls and skating rinks may increase capacity to 50%
- Movie theaters may increase capacity to 50%
- Museums and libraries may increase capacity to 50%
Beginning June 10, Fine arts venues and performance halls may open at 50% capacity. Video game businesses will also be able to open at 50% capacity.
Restaurants will be able to increase indoor seating capacity to 75%
June 19 will allow amusement parks and carnivals to reopen at 50% capacity.
In all cases of reopening, business operators must follow minimum standard health and safety protocols as outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services and CDC.
The Governor’s order continues to urge the following precautions for the public:
- Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings
- People should not be in groups greater than ten when possible
- People over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible
- People are still asked to avoid nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities.”
To view the details of the Open Texas Plan and guidance, visit Open.Texas.Gov.
Governor Abbott Announces Reopening Phase 2
Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-23 May 18 moving Texas into Phase 2 of the plan to open Texas. Notable immediate changes include the addition of massage studios, tattoo and piercing parlors and hair treatment centers to the list of approved personal services. Day cares and youth facilities are also allowed to reopen immediately within CDC guidelines.
Effective May 22, restaurants may operate indoor dining at up to 50% occupancy. Bars can open at up to 25% occupancy. Bowling alleys, bingo halls and skating rinks will also be allowed to open at 25% occupancy.
May 31 will mark the date youth sports and camps can return.
Detailed descriptions of what is allowed under the new order can be found gov.texas.gov/opentexas.
Governor Abbott Issues New Guidance May 5
Governor Abbott issued additional guidance to his GA-18 executive order clarifying certain provisions and adding new businesses allowed to reopen.
Beginning May 8, cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and tanning salons will be allowed to open with certain restrictions.
Beginning May 18, gyms and exercise facilities are also allowed to reopen with occupancy and procedural requirements.
Read the full text here.
Governor Abbott Announces Plan to Open Texas
Governor Greg Abbott has presented his plan to restart the Texas economy, and the first steps begin May 1. He is allowing his previous stay at home order to expire at midnight April 30. Effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 1, Texas residents are no longer required to stay home but are encouraged to take personal precautions, including social distancing, to protect themselves and others from the spread of COVID-19.
The Governor also issued three new executive orders:
GA-18: allows all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and shopping malls to provide in-store services at up to 25% capacity and with certain restrictions. Still closed are bars, gyms, public swimming pools, cosmetology salons, barber shops, massage businesses, tattoo and piercing studios and indoor amusements (arcades, bowling, other interactive features).
GA-19: applies new standards to healthcare workers and facilities.
GA-20: modifies previous travel restrictions to require those traveling into Texas from or through any airport in the states of New York, New Jersey and Washington and the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami to self-quarantine for 14 days. It removes the requirement for those traveling from Louisiana.
Governor Abbott Issues New Executive Order
Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Orders GA-15 and GA-16 April 17 providing updated direction on statewide COVID-19 restrictions. The new orders are in effect through April 30, 2020 unless extended. Highlights include:
- Texas students will not return to school this school year
- Restaurants remain restricted to drive through or carry out only
- Bars, gyms, salons, massage studios, tattoo and piercing establishments and like businesses remain closed
- Retail businesses not deemed "essential" may begin offering curbside and delivery services April 24, 2020 (businesses must follow CDC guidelines for sanitation and social distancing)
- Nursing homes, assisted living and long-term care facilities remain closed to visitors
- Certain elective medical procedures (with restrictions) may be provided April 21 through May 8, 2020