Governor Abbott has issued executive orders to begin reopening Texas under certain parameters after having been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details of the orders and his press releases can be found at https://gov.texas.gov/. An overview of information contained in the latest executive orders is provided below.
Governor’s Order Requires Bars to Close and Other Businesses to Reduce Capacity to 50% in Denton
DENTON, TX, Dec. 3, 2020 – Under Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, certain businesses within Trauma Service Area-E (TSA-E), including the City of Denton, that have been operating at 75 percent capacity must reduce capacity to 50 percent. Bars that do not qualify as a restaurant under TABC rules must close. Additionally, elective surgeries and procedures are addressed in GA-31, which states every hospital that is licensed under Chapter 241 of Texas Health and Safety Code shall postpone if located in an area with high hospitalizations.
Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 went into effect on Oct. 14, 2020, and allowed for bars to open and businesses, such as retail and restaurants, to operate at 75 percent capacity in areas without high COVID-19 hospitalization rates. The Order defines high hospitalizations as seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent within a Trauma Service Area.
Denton is located in Trauma Service Area E (TSA-E), and for the past seven days, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in TSA-E exceeded 15 percent, making it an area with high hospitalizations. A press release from Denton County on the GA-31 and GA-32 restrictions is available on their website, www.dentoncounty.gov.
Click here to read the full press release.
STATE AND LOCAL ORDERS CURRENTLY IN EFFECT
The Denton City Council recently voted to extend the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency first executed on March 13. The Council also adopted a new Tenth Order of Council that supersedes all previous orders related to the pandemic. Both the declaration and the order will remain in effect until Thursday, Dec. 31.
Though not addressed in the Council’s new order, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has a number of statewide orders in place that also provide guidance and mandates for the Denton community.
What You Need to Know:
In accordance with Governor Abbott’s order, GA-29, everyone should take caution when in public by practicing social distancing and staying at least six feet apart from those outside your household.
GA-30 requires limited occupancy for certain businesses, and outdoor gatherings are currently limited to no more than 10 people. Occupancy limits vary depending on business type. Visit open.texas.gov for details.
GA-29 also states that all persons age 10 years and older must wear face coverings when in public where social distancing is not possible. See the order and exemptions at open.texas.gov.
All commercial and nonprofit entities in the city of Denton are required to develop and maintain a health and safety policy that incorporates the face covering and social distancing requirements ordered by the state. Safety policies must be posted in clear view of employees and members of the public.
On Oct. 7, Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order to open bars and similar establishments at up to 50% capacity in conjunction with county officials. In hospital regions with low COVID-19 hospitalizations, County Judges will be able to opt their county into opening bars beginning October 14th, provided they assist in enforcing health protocols. The Governor's Executive Order also increases the occupancy levels for all business establishments other than bars to 75%.
**Dec. 3 Update** Denton is located in Trauma Service Area E (TSA-E), and for the past seven days, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in TSA-E exceeded 15 percent, making it an area with high hospitalizations. Under Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, certain businesses within TSA-E, including the City of Denton, that have been operating at 75 percent capacity must reduce capacity to 50 percent. Bars that do not qualify as a restaurant under TABC rules must close. Additionally, under gubernatorial order GA-31, elective surgeries will be suspended. Click here for more information.
Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas (checklists and resources)
Signs & Graphics:
Open Texas Checklists
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has recommended minimum standard health protocols for all individuals, all employers and employees, as well as industry-specific. These protocols are outlined in the Open Texas Checklists found at https://open.texas.gov/.
Additional information for businesses