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Governor Abbott Orders All Texans to Wear Face Masks

in Coronavirus Updates
Governor Abbott Orders All Texans to Wear Face Masks

On Thursday, July 2, 2202, Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order that requires all Texans to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth in public spaces, with exceptions. According to the order, this applies to residents of counties with more than 20 positive cases of COVID-19. This includes Orange County.

Restrictions on outdoor gatherings are also included in the order. Gatherings can no longer be over 10 people and, with certain exceptions, groups over 10 must maintain six feet of social distancing.

The mandate comes one day after Texas hit another grim milestone in COVID-19 cases and reported 8,076 new cases on Wednesday, making it the highest one-day total in the state since the start of the pandemic.

Abbott said in the announcement, “Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19. We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another-and that means wearing a face-covering in public spaces. Likewise, large gatherings are a clear contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases. Restricting the size of groups gatherings will strengthen Texas’ ability to corral this virus and keep Texans safe. We all have a responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our communities safe. If Texans commit to wearing face coverings in public spaces and follow the best health and safety practices, we can both slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep Texas open for business. I urge all Texans to wear a face-covering in public, not just for their own health, but for the health of their families, friends, and for all our fellow Texans.”

According to Abbott, the decision came after a surge in cases across Texas, with the Governor saying the daily number of positive tests statewide has quadrupled in a month – to 6,000 positives a day.

The Governor says that the consequences for violations are:

  • First Violation – A warning
  • Violations after will include penalties up to $250.

No one will be jailed for violations, however.

“Local law enforcement has the authority to enforce this safety standard,” says Abbott in his video announcement. “Just like they do when enforcing seat belt standards.”

Abbott’s order is effective as of 12:01 p.m. Friday, July 3, 2020.

Abbott had previously resisted calls for such a statewide requirement but allowed local governments to require businesses to mandate masks.

You can read the Executive Order here.

Abbott Rescinds Bar Openings and Reduces Restaurant Occupancy

in Coronavirus Updates
Governor Abbott Extends Quarantine to 10 States, Including Louisiana

Governor Greg Abbott today issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services as part of the state’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. This decision comes as the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 and the number of hospitalizations have increased and the positivity rate in Texas increased above 10%, which the Governor previously stated would lead to further preventative action. The targeted, measured directives in the executive order are based on links between certain types of businesses and services and the recent rise in positive cases throughout the state.

The order includes the following:

  • All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 PM today. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
  • Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
  • Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
  • Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.

“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars. The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health. We want this to be as limited in duration as possible. However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part. Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can. I know that our collective action can lead to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19 because we have done it before, and we will do it again.”

Masks to Be Given to All Tested for COVID-19

in Coronavirus Updates
Governor Abbott Extends Quarantine to 10 States, Including Louisiana

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), in partnership with the Texas Military Department, will begin distributing 3-ply surgical masks to every Texan who undergoes COVID-19 testing at state-run mobile test collection sites. Beginning tomorrow, each Texan who receives a COVID-19 test at a state-run mobile testing site will be provided with four masks to take home with them. Texans can find a testing site near them by visiting TDEM’s COVID-19 Test Collection Site map.

“Wearing a mask or facial covering in public is an effective way for Texans to protect themselves and others from the transmission of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “This program helps ensure that Texans have the resources they need to effectively mitigate the spread of this virus and keep themselves and their communities safe. I continue to urge all Texans to do their part by taking necessary precautions that will reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout our state.”

COVID-19 Testing Available at Exceptional Emergency Center in Orange

in Business/Coronavirus Updates
COVID-19 Testing Available at Exceptional Emergency Center in Orange

COVID-19 testing is now available at all Exceptional Emergency Center locations in Texas. During the State of National Emergency, Exceptional ER is now accepting Medicare along with Tricare and all major insurances.

Patients can get results in as little as 15 minutes with the Rapid Test. No appointments or scheduling are required for testing.

For additional information, please contact Exceptional Emergency Center – Orange at 409.670.9898 or at their website.

Re-Opening Texas Phase 3

in Coronavirus Updates/Government
Re-Opening Texas Phase 3

Texas has now moved into phase 3 of Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen after a large shutdown due to Coronavirus.

The following is an overview of the phase 3 portion of reopening:

Effective Wednesday, June 3rd

All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions.

Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.

Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity.

Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.

Effective Friday, June 12th

Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%.

Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.

Effective Friday, June 19th

Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.

Further Protocols:

All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols from DSHS. For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit http://open.texas.gov.

Reminders for those going out:

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.

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