On Tuesday, March 24, residents of Houston were ordered to stay at home to curb the ongoing spread of COVID-19. The Stay at Home, Work Safe Order was given by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Addressing more than 4.7 million residents in Harris County, the order requires residents in the third-largest county in the nation to stay home unless they’re conducting essential business, like buying groceries or going to work. It was initially due to expire on April 3. As positive cases of COVID-19 continued to grow, however, the order has since been extended until April 30.
The extension was announced after Texas Gov.Greg Abbott issued a statewide Executive Order on March 31 which allows Texans to leave their homes for essential services only until April 30. Gov. Abbott’s mandate includes an exception for religious services that may be conducted in Texas counties where COVID-19 isn’t present, as long as gatherings don’t exceed ten people and follow the CDC guidelines for social distancing. Texas public schools will continue to stay closed until May 4.
Click HERE to read the official Harris County Stay at Home, Work Safe Order.
Key Points of Harris County’s Stay At Home, Work Safe Order
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo ordered Houston residents to stay at home to help the county’s medical facilitators. In the Mayor’s Office press release, he said,
“The singular goal is worth repeating, and that is to blunt the progression of the COVID-19 so that we do not overwhelm our healthcare system … If we work together, we can emerge from this health care crisis much quicker and stronger.”
The number of coronavirus cases in Texas has exceeded 6,845, with 128 deaths. Harris County leads The Lone Star State with the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases, reaching 1,284 on Monday, April 6
When did the order go into place?
The Order for Harris County went into effect on March 24 and was extended on April 3. The statewide Executive Order from Gov. Abbott went into effect on March 31.
When will the order be lifted?
Currently, the countywide and statewide order is scheduled to end on April 30.
What are the violations and penalties associated with the order?
Violators in Harris County can face six months in jail with fines up to $1,000, per the governor’s emergency order.
What kind of order is it?
Harris County is under the “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order issued by the Harris County Judge; the state of Texas is under the Governor’s Executive Order.
What are the essential businesses?
Businesses include healthcare providers, law enforcement, community-based government operations, and essential retail businesses like grocery stores, gas stations, warehouse stores, and more.
The full list of essential businesses that will remain open can be found by visiting: https://www.readyharris.org/Stay-Home
Schedule a Consultation with Stepp & Sullivan, PC
The attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan, PC are here for the Houston community. Just as we’ve stood by Texans for 35 years, we continue to do so through these times of uncertainty. Our daily mission at Stepp & Sullivan, PC, is to be your problem solver, personal advocate, and fighter. As an essential service, our office remains open as we continue to provide personalized services tailored to our clients’ needs.
To schedule your consultation, call our office at (713) 336-7200 or complete an online contact form today.
We at Stepp & Sullivan are open via our virtual connections during regular business hours to serve you. While the courthouses are closed to the public, the courts and staff are still working hard, and business with them can be effectively accomplished via telephone and their computerized services. There is no need therefore to wait on getting your legal business done during these times, and again, we are here to do so. We are filing suits weekly.
Please stay safe and observe the various County Judges’ mandates.