Nov 18, 2020

Texas State and Local Action on COVID-19

For a complete look at federal and state action related to the coronavirus, visit MWC’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Facts and Resources website.

COVID-19 has created a fluid and rapidly evolving situation across the state of Texas. Below are the latest developments.

Case Statistics as of Nov. 18, 2020

  • 1,048,383 total cases (141,891 estimated active cases)
  • 8,489 new cases on Nov. 18
  • 19,883 fatalities (187 new)
  • 7,958 hospitalized
  • 9,522,343 molecular tests (11/17/2020)
  • 11.49% Specimen Collection Positivity Rate (11/17/2020)
    DSHS COVID Dashboard 

Governor Abbott Holds Covid-19 Press Conference

On Nov. 18, Governor Abbott held a press conference in Lubbock to address the increase of COVID-19 cases in the region and to announce the arrival of a new drug to treat the early stages of the disease.

  • Texas will begin receiving doses of the new drug, Bamlanivimab by Eli Lilly.
    • Bamlanivimab neutralizing antibody treatment for COVID-19
    • It is most effective in the treatment in the early stages of infection
    • Each region of the state will be receiving the drug, with priority given to high hospitalization rate regions. The goal is for the drug to reduce the need for hospitalization.
    • Governor Abbott did not address how much of the drug the state will be receiving
    • The drug will only be given to those who meet certain qualifications at this point: over 65, prior medical issues, medical personnel, etc. Exact metrics will be released soon, and they are working on creating some sort of database that the public can utilize to see if they qualify.
  • Governor Abbott also noted that the state should begin receiving allocations of the new vaccines in December.
  • Governor Abbott did not announce any new regulations or restrictions at this time
    • When asked if there would be another shutdown in the future, Governor Abbott stated, "There's an overestimation of what a shutdown can achieve, there are plenty of tools in the toolbox (for local authorities)."
    • "We've been here before, we can do it again. All we need is for people to return to those safe practices that we learned during summer spike.”
    • The governor stressed the need for Texans to follow safe practices and personal responsibility. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay home when possible, and avoid gatherings.

Executive Order GA-32 (Effective October 14, 2020)

On October 8, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-32 to reopen certain venues to 75% capacity and allow resumption of elective surgeries in certain counties. Counties that reside in Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) with high COVID‑19 hospitalizations are excluded from these reopenings.

Per the GA-32, areas with high hospitalizations means any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID‑19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID‑19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.

A county within a TSA that has high hospitalizations may still reopen up to 75% if the county meets attestation parameters established under GA-32.

GA-32 took effect on October 14, 2020.

Counties

The following counties are part of Trauma Service Areas where, for the last seven days, 15% or more of total hospital capacity has been COVID‑19 patients.

Trauma Service Area A

  • Armstrong*
  • Briscoe
  • Carson*
  • Childress*
  • Collingsworth*
  • Dallam
  • Deaf Smith
  • Donley
  • Gray
  • Hall
  • Hansford
  • Hartley
  • Hemphill*
  • Hutchinson
  • Lipscomb*
  • Moore
  • Ochiltree
  • Oldham*
  • Parmer
  • Potter
  • Randall
  • Roberts
  • Sherman
  • Swisher
  • Wheeler

Trauma Service Area B

  • Bailey
  • Borden*
  • Castro
  • Cochran*
  • Cottle*
  • Crosby*
  • Dawson
  • Dickens*
  • Floyd*
  • Gaines
  • Garza
  • Hale
  • Hockley
  • Kent*
  • King*
  • Lamb
  • Lubbock
  • Lynn
  • Motley*
  • Scurry
  • Terry
  • Yoakum

Trauma Service Area I

  • Culberson
  • El Paso
  • Hudspeth

*county has qualified for and submitted an attestation to operate at 75%.

Quick Links

Open Texas Phases

October 14, 2020

Bars

  • May open at 50% capacity
  • Counties with high hospitalization rates are not eligible to open
  • County judges have the authority to allow for the opening, or keep them closed
  • Dance floors must remain closed
  • No loitering. Patrons must return to their table once they purchase a beverage at the bar top.
  • Masks must be worn at all times, unless seated at the table. 

October 12, 2020

Amusement Parks, Movie Theaters, Zoos, Aquariums and Bowling Alleys

  • May increase capacity to 75%

September 17, 2020

Restaurants, Retail, Etc. Capacity Expanded to 75%

  • Executive Order – GA 30 allows restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries to operate at 75% capacity.
  • Bars must remain closed
    • Governor Abbott stated that it is still too risky to reopen bars at this time.
    • TABC has adjusted some of their rules to make it easier for bars to qualify as a restaurant, and therefore be able to be open. More information on those rules can be found here.
  • The following counties are excluded from the reopening’s in this order due to high hospitalization rates (see Hospital Capacity Metric below):
    • Trauma Service Area S – Calhoun; DeWitt; Goliad; Jackson; Lavaca; Victoria
    • Trauma Service Area T – Jim Hogg; Webb; Zapata
    • Trauma Service Area V – Cameron; Hidalgo; Starr; Willacy

Elective Surgery/Hospital Capacity

  • Executive Order – GA 31 – hospitals that have less than 15% of COVID patients have no restrictions on elective surgeries.
  • The following counties are excluded from this order due to high hospitalization rates (see Hospital Capacity Metric below):
    • Trauma Service Area S – Calhoun; DeWitt; Goliad; Jackson; Lavaca; Victoria
    • Trauma Service Area T – Jim Hogg; Webb; Zapata
    • Trauma Service Area V – Cameron; Hidalgo; Starr; Willacy

Hospital Capacity Metric for Reopening

  • The Governor said that looking at hospital capacity is the most accurate set of data we have in evaluating COVID-19, and will be used as a baseline for additional reopening’s in the state.  When hospitalizations are high, the state needs to react and put in place restrictions.  When hospitalizations are down, then the state can loosen reopening restrictions. 
  • Texas is broken down into 22 Trauma Service Areas. Counties that reside in Trauma Service Areas (TSAs) with high COVID‑19 hospitalizations are excluded from these reopening’s.
  • Any TSA that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID‑19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients exceeds 15% is excluded from the reopening’s provided under GA‑30 and GA‑31. Once they have seven consecutive days below the 15% threshold, they are eligible for the reopening’s.
  • The following counties are part of TSAs where, for the last seven days, 15% or more of the hospitalizations have been COVID‑19:
    • Trauma Service Area S – Calhoun; DeWitt; Goliad; Jackson; Lavaca; Victoria
    • Trauma Service Area T – Jim Hogg; Webb; Zapata
    • Trauma Service Area V – Cameron; Hidalgo; Starr; Willacy
  • DSHS will post TSA Hospitalization Rates here: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/ga3031/ 

Roll Back

June 26, 2020

  • Bars
    • All bars in Texas are required to close
    • They are allowed to do take-out and delivery (including alcoholic beverages)
  • Restaurants
    • All restaurants are to reduce indoor capacity to 50% (previously allowed at 75%)
  • Rafting & Tubing Businesses
    • Must Close
  • Outdoor Gatherings
    • Any gathering over 100 people must be approved by local government

Phase III

June 19, 2020

  • Amusement Parks/Carnivals
    • Counties with < 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.

June 12, 2020

  • Restaurants
    • Can expand to 75% capacity
  • Counties
    • Counties with >10 cases can expand all openings to 75%

June 3, 2020

  • Businesses
    • Can expand to 50% capacity
  • Bars/Wineries/Breweries
    • Can expand to 50% capacity (patrons must be seated)
  • Amusement Parks/Carnivals
    • Counties with >1,000 cases may open at 50% capacity
  • Restaurants
    • Can expand maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons

Phase II

May 31, 2020

  • Adult Recreational Sports
    • Practices only, games can’t resume until June 15th
    • No spectators allowed during practice (spectators can attend games after June 15th, with proper social distancing
  • Youth Camps
  • Youth Sports
    • Youth Sports Operators
    • Practices cannot have spectators, however, one parent/guardian is allowed
    • Games can be held with or without spectators, with 6-feet social distancing
  • Professional Sports Without In-Person Spectators
    • Includes: basketball, baseball, car racing, football, golf, softball, and tennis
    • Must apply for approval from DSHS
    • No Spectators Allowed

May 29, 2020

  • Water Parks
    • 25% occupancy limit
    • Video arcades within the park must remain closed

May 26, 2020

  • Driver’s Education Programs
    • 25% occupancy limit
    • 6-feet social distancing, except while driving
  • Shopping Mall Food-Courts
    • Limit of 6 people per table
    • 6 feet between tables
    • Cleaning and disinfecting after each customer
    • No condiments can be left on tables

May 22, 2020

May 18, 2020

  • Child Care Centers
    • All child care centers can reopen
    • Must implement social distancing strategies, intensify cleaning and disinfection, modify drop-off/pick-up, implement screening procedures (details in link above)
  • Massage and Personal-Care, Beauty Services
    • Includes: massage establishments, electrolysis, waxing, tattoo studios, piercing studios, and hair loss treatment services
    • 6-feet between work stations
  • Youth Clubs
    • Includes: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, TOP Teens, FFA, etc.
    • Indoor meetings cannot be larger than 10 people
    • 6-feet social distancing

May 18, 2020

  • Gyms / Exercise Facilities 
    • 25% capacity
    • Locker rooms & showers remain closed
  • Manufacturers 
    • All non-CISA manufacturing facilities may operate up to 25% of the facility’s total listed occupancy
  • Office-Based Employers 
    • Offices may operate with up to the greater of 10 individuals or 25% of the total office workforce

May 8, 2020

Phase I

May 5, 2020

Governor Abbott Declarations

October 7th

September 17th

July 2nd

June 26th

June 25th

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June 3rd

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Local Orders

Tarrant County Order

  • All commercial entities in Tarrant County must develop a health & safety policy by June 26 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order is set to expire August 3, unless otherwise ordered.

Hidalgo County Order

  • Hidalgo County extended their previous executive order to now include:
  • Curfew
    • 17 and under (10:00 pm – 6:00 am)
    • 18 and older ( 11:00 pm – 5:00 am)
  • Social Gatherings
    • No public or private gatherings of more than 10 people

Harris County Order

  • All commercial entities in Harris County must develop a health & safety policy by June 24 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order is set to expire June 30, unless otherwise ordered.
  • The Commissioner’s Court met today, and voted to extend the order until July 15th.

Dallas County Order

  • All commercial entities in Dallas County must develop a health & safety policy by June 24 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order is set to expire August 4, unless otherwise ordered.
  • Employers shall not implement any rules making a negative COVID-19 test or a note from a healthcare provider a requirement before a COVID-19 recovered employee can return to work. (healthcare facilities exempted)
  • If someone in a household has tested positive for coronavirus, the household is ordered to isolate at home. Members of the household cannot go to work, school, or any other community function, except for workers included in Essential Healthcare Operations who may continue to work in accordance with CDC guidance.
  • Nursing homes, retirement, and long-term care facilities are instructed by this Order to prohibit non-essential visitors from accessing their facilities unless to provide critical assistance or for end-of-life visitation.

Hays County Order

  • All commercial entities in Hays County must develop a health & safety policy by June 22 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order is set to expire July 20, unless otherwise ordered.

Bexar County Executive Order

  • All commercial entities in Bexar County must develop a health & safety policy by June 22 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order is set to expire July 15, unless otherwise ordered.

City of Austin Order

  • All commercial entities in Austin must develop a health & safety policy by June 23 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order is set to expire August 15, unless otherwise ordered.

Cameron County Order

  • All commercial entities in Cameron County must develop a health & safety policy by June 24 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order is set to expire June 30, unless otherwise ordered.
  • The order was extended to July 13. In addition to masks, the new order includes a curfew, beach access closure, and limitations on gatherings.

El Paso County Order

  • All commercial entities in El Paso County must develop a health & safety policy by June 21 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order remains in effect until otherwise noted.

City of Waco Order

  • All commercial entities in Waco must develop a health & safety policy by June 24 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed).

Bell County Order

  • Bell County met yesterday, and decided to remove the face mask requirement from their emergency order.

Nueces County Order

  • All commercial entities in Nueces County must develop a health & safety policy by June 22 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order remains in effect until July 10.

Fort Bend County Order

City of Galveston

City of La Marque

City of Sugar Land

Tom Green County Order

  • All retail stores that have a posted occupancy load of 100 persons or more within Tom Green County, Texas shall require all customers 10 years or older and all employees to wear a mask or cloth that covers the mouth and nose while they are within the store or within 6 feet of a person from another household when they are outside the store and on store property.

City of Round Rock

  • All residents 10 years or older must wear a mask when inside a business or outdoors when 6 feet of social distancing is not possible. The order is in effect from July 1 through August 28.

City of Georgetown

  • All commercial entities in Georgetown must develop a health & safety policy by July 3 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order remains in effect until the seven day infection rate drops below 7% for two consecutive weeks.

City of Hutto

  • All commercial entities in Hutto must develop a health & safety policy by July 1 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed).

City of Taylor

  • All commercial entities in Taylor must develop a health & safety policy by July 1 that includes masks for all employees and visitors (some exceptions allowed). The order remains in effect until the end of July otherwise noted.

City of Marble Falls

  • Effective Tuesday at 12 a.m., face coverings must be worn at all times by persons over the age of two years old in public places within the City of Marble Falls.

City Declarations

Houston
City of Houston COVID-19 Updates

Dallas
City of Dallas COVID-19 Updates

San Antonio
City of San Antonio COVID-19 Updates

Austin
City of Austin COVID-19 Updates

Laredo
City of Laredo COVID-19 Updates

Fort Worth
City of Fort Worth COVID-19 Updates

Arlington
City of Arlington COVID-19 Updates

McAllen
City of McAllen/Hidalgo County COVID-19 Updates

Corpus Christi
City of Corpus Christi COVID-19 Updates

Lubbock
City of Lubbock COVID-19 Updates

Waco
City of Waco COVID-19 Updates