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.
DENTON CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS ORDER REGARDING FACE COVERINGS
Aug. 25, 2020 Local Disaster Declaration and Face Covering Order Extended
DENTON, TX, Aug. 26, 2020 – On Tuesday, Aug. 25, the Denton City Council voted to extend the Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency first executed by Mayor Chris Watts on March 13. The new declaration shall be in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30.
In addition, the Council adopted a new Ninth Order of Council to supersede previous orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new Order shall be in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Under the Ninth Order of Council:
- All commercial and non-profit entities providing good or services directly to the public are required to have a health and safety policy requiring face coverings;
- The City Manager is granted the authority, to take actions to respond to the disaster such as apply for state or federal assistance, accept supplies or grants on behalf of the City, terminate or suspend events, or adopt procedures and directives related to personnel or altering operations of facilities or services of the City;
- The City Manager is granted the authority to expend funds from the general fund reserve balance, specifically authorizing an additional $900,000 for facility improvements to reduce the spread of COVID-19;
- Provides flexibility to schedule meetings for City Committee, Commission, and Board meetings; and
- Postpones all non-essential in-person court proceedings in the Municipal Court.
A copy of the Order of Council and its full provisions is available here.
July 28, 2020 Face Coverings Order Extended
On Tuesday, July 28, the Denton City Council voted to extend the health and safety requirements for certain commercial and nonprofit entities in the City of Denton. Entities that provide goods or services directly to the public must continue to implement and post their Health and Safety Policy, as defined by the order, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31, or until otherwise terminated, extended, or modified by the Council.
The Health and Safety Policy must, at minimum, require that all employees and visitors to the entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth when in an area or while performing an activity that will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public. The policy must also be posted conspicuously at or near all entrances of the commercial or nonprofit entity in clear view of any employees or members of the public entering the premises.
The Order also incorporated the state requirement that outdoor gatherings in excess of 10 people are prohibited unless specifically permitted by Gubernatorial Executive Order GA-28, authorized by the mayor, or otherwise permitted by a subsequent state order.
Click here to read the Order.
June 26, 2020 Local Face Covering Order
Order Applies to Businesses and Nonprofits Working Directly with the Public
DENTON, TX, June 26, 2020 – To prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Denton City Council has adopted an Order of Council requiring all commercial and nonprofit entities in the city of Denton that provide goods or services directly to the public to develop and implement a Health and Safety Policy within five (5) calendar days of the Effective Date of the Order.
The Health and Safety Policy (the “Policy”) required by this Order:
- Must require that all employees or visitors to the commercial or nonprofit entity’s business premises or other facilities wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth when in an area or while performing an activity that will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to coworkers or the public.
- May allow individuals with an operational need to remove a face covering so long as such operational needs are specifically addressed in the Policy.
- May also include the implementation of other mitigating measures designed to control or reduce the transmission of COVID-19, such as temperature checks and health screenings.
- Must be posted conspicuously at or near all entrances of any commercial or nonprofit entity in the city of Denton in clear view of any employees or members of the public entering the business.
The requirement of a face covering in a business does not apply if covering the nose and mouth poses a significant mental or physical health risk to the individual. It also does not apply when an individual is consuming a food or beverage or receiving a service where the wearing of a face covering would impair the performance of the service.
The new order will take effect beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 26 and continue through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4 or until otherwise acted upon by the Council. [UPDATE: On July 28, the order was extended through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31]. Required health and safety policies must be implemented by applicable commercial entities and nonprofits by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
Additionally, under the Order of Council:
- For public areas where a health and safety policy is not required, all people 10 years or older are strongly urged to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth where it is difficult to keep six feet away from other people or working in areas that involve proximity with coworkers.
- Outdoor gatherings in excess of 100 people are prohibited unless specifically permitted by Gubernatorial Executive Order GA-28, signed by Governor Abbott on June 26, 2020.
Beginning on Thursday, July 2, residents may report concerns regarding potential violations of this order through the Engage Denton mobile application, online at www.engagedenton.com, or by calling and leaving a message at (940) 349-8228. When concerns are received, the City will assign staff to visit with businesses and focus on educating and communicating the requirements of the Order and other potential health and safety measures that could be implemented.
A copy of the Order of Council is available online at www.cityofdenton.com and is also available here. Visit www.cityofdenton.com/coronavirus for additional updates.
Contact: Ryan Adams, (940) 349-8565, Ryan.Adams@cityofdenton.com
Resources & FAQs for Local Face Covering Order
Governor Abbott Establishes Statewide Face Covering Requirement, Issues Proclamation To Limit Gatherings
July 2, 2020 Statewide Face Covering Requirement Press Release
July 2, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release
Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with few exceptions. The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10 people, and making it mandatory that, with certain exceptions, people cannot be in groups larger than ten and must maintain six feet of social distancing from others.
"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,” said Governor Abbott. “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.”
Additionally, the Governor released a new video message to coincide with his Executive Order, encouraging Texans to do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep their communities safe. The video can be downloaded at this link and can also be viewed on YouTube.
View the Governor's Executive Order.
View the Governor's Proclamation.
Update from Governor Abbott: Sept. 17, 2020
Every business establishment in Texas shall operate at no more than 50 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment; provided, however, that:
1. There is no occupancy limit for the following:
- a. any services listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 4.0 or any subsequent version;
- b. religious services, including those conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship;
- c. local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to licensing (including marriage licenses), permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government;
- d. child-care services;
- e. youth camps, including but not limited to those defined as such under Chapter 141 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and including all summer camps and other daytime and overnight camps for youths;
- f. recreational sports programs for youths and adults;
- g. any public or private schools, and any public or private institutions of higher education, not already covered above; and
- h. drive-in concerts, movies, or similar events, under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing, that generally require spectators to remain in their vehicles, and that minimize in-person contact between people who are not in the same household or vehicle.
2. The following types of business establishments may operate at up to 75 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment, except for those establishments in areas with high hospitalizations as defined below:
- a. in-store, non-CISA retail establishments;
- b. dine-in restaurants, as defined below in paragraph No. 7;
- c. non-CISA office buildings;
- d. non-CISA manufacturers;
- e. museums and libraries; and
- f. gyms and exercise facilities and classes.
“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 all hospitalized patients 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 all hospitalized patients is 15 percent or less. A current list of areas with high hospitalizations will be maintained at www.dshs.texas.gov/ga3031.
3. Except as provided below by paragraph No. 6, this 50 percent occupancy limit does not apply to outdoor areas, events, or establishments, except that the outdoor areas or outdoor venues identified in paragraph No. 2 of Executive Order GA-28 shall operate at no more than the percentage of normal operating limits as was set forth in Executive Order GA-28.
4. There is no occupancy limit for the following establishments that operate with at least six feet of social distancing between work stations:
- a. cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade;
- b. massage establishments and other facilities where licensed massage therapists or other persons licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under Chapter 455 of the Texas Occupations Code practice their trade; and
- c. other personal-care and beauty services such as tanning salons, tattoo studios, piercing studios, hair removal services, and hair loss treatment and growth services.
5. Amusement parks shall operate at no more than 50 percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the owner.
6. For any outdoor gathering in excess of 10 people, other than those set forth above in paragraph Nos. 1, 2, 3, or 5, the gathering is prohibited unless the mayor of the city in which the gathering is held, or the county judge in the case of a gathering in an unincorporated area, approves of the gathering, and such approval can be made subject to certain conditions or restrictions not inconsistent with this executive order.
7. Only restaurants that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages, and whose customers eat or drink only while seated, may offer dine-in services.
8. People shall not visit bars or similar establishments that hold a permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and are not restaurants as defined above in paragraph No. 7; provided, however, that the use by such bars or similar establishments of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for food and drinks is allowed to the extent authorized by TABC.
9. People shall not use commercial rafting or tubing services, including rental of rafts or tubes and transportation of people for the purpose of rafting or tubing.
10. For any business establishment that is subject to a 50 percent “total listed occupancy” limit or “normal operating limit,” and that is in a county that has filed with DSHS, and is in compliance with, the requisite attestation form promulgated by DSHS regarding minimal cases of COVID-19, the business establishment may operate at up to 75 percent of the total listed occupancy or normal operating limit of the establishment.
11. For purposes of this executive order, facilities with retractable roofs are considered indoor facilities, whether the roof is opened or closed.
12. Staff members are not included in determining operating levels, except for manufacturing services and office workers.
13. Except as provided in this executive order or in the minimum standard health protocols recommended by DSHS, found at www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus, people shall not be in groups larger than 10 and shall maintain six feet of social distancing from those not in their group.
14. People over the age of 65 are strongly encouraged to stay at home as much as possible; to maintain appropriate distance from any member of the household who has been out of the residence in the previous 14 days; and, if leaving the home, to implement social distancing and to practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.
15. In providing or obtaining services, every person (including individuals, businesses, and other legal entities) should use good-faith efforts and available resources to follow the minimum standard health protocols recommended by DSHS.
16. Nothing in this executive order or the DSHS minimum standards precludes requiring a customer to follow additional hygiene measures when obtaining services.
17. People may visit nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities 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 HHSC, including minimizing the movement of staff between facilities whenever possible; and
18. Public schools may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard health protocols found in, guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Private schools and institutions of higher education are encouraged to establish similar standards.
Click here to learn more and read the full proclamation.
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