What is a Stay at Home Order?
Harris, Galveston, and Fort Bend Counties have issued stay-at-home orders effective at midnight today (March 24) until April 3. It is expected that many more counties in the Greater Houston area will follow suit.
This action orders the following:
- Remain at your place of residence unless engaging in essential activities, providing essential governmental functions, or operating essential businesses.
- All businesses, except essential businesses, should cease all activities at facilities.
- All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single house or living unit are prohibited
- Restaurants may only provide take-out, delivery, or drive-through services as allowed by law
- Religious and worship services may only be provided by video and teleconferencing while limiting in-person staff to ten people or less
- All elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited
- If someone tests positive for Coronavirus, the whole household must quarantine for 14 days
- Nursing homes, retirement communities and long-term care facilities are to prohibit non-essential visitors
According to the federal government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency guidelines, there are 16 sectors considered essential that can stay open:
- Critical Manufacturing
- Commercial Facilities
- Defense Industrial Base
- Emergency Services
- Food & Agriculture
- Government Facilities
- Healthcare & Public Health
- Information Technology
- Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste
- Transportation Systems
Under the order, grocery stores will stay open.
Parks will remain open, but no playgrounds, benches, exercise equipment or basketball courts may be used. People who enjoy the outdoor spaces must maintain social distancing.
Restaurants can continue providing takeout and drive-thru service, but must maintain social distancing between customers as well.
Day Care Centers that provide care for employees of essential businesses can remain open.
Religious and worship services are to be streamed online only, but one-on-one counseling between leaders and parishioners is allowed in an effort to help with mental health.