Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) issued a series of executive orders Thursday to help stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus. The restrictions include limiting restaurants to take-out only and groups of people to 10 or less.
“The State of Texas is at a pivotal moment in our response to COVID-19, and it is imperative that we act now on preemptive measures to slow the spread of this virus,” Governor Abbott said during a press conference with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen. “One of the most effective ways we can do this is by promoting more social distancing and ensuring Texans avoid large group settings such as bars, restaurants, gyms, and schools where the risk of spreading COVID-19 is high.”
Governor Abbott issued the following executive orders effective at midnight Thursday night through midnight April 3:
- Order No. 1: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
- Order No. 2: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
- Order No. 3: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
- Order No. 4: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.
The governor said the order does not preclude visiting grocery stores, parks, and banks. He urges people to take the necessary precautions to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“We must also continue to protect our most vulnerable populations, which is why the State of Texas is barring all visitations at nursing homes and retirement or long-term care facilities except in the case of critical assistance,” Abbott concluded. “Today’s executive orders are precautionary measures that are in line with guidelines from the CDC and they will strengthen Texas’ ability to safeguard our communities and respond to COVID-19. As Texans, we must continue to work collaboratively to slow the spread of this virus and protect public health.”