Over the past few months, Gov. Greg Abbott has announced a series of ongoing Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
According to the Orders:
- Residents are strongly encouraged to minimize social gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household except to provide or obtain essential services or reopened services.
- People over 65 are strongly encouraged to stay home as much as possible, and maintain appropriate distance from any member of their household who has been out of the residence the previous 14 days.
In providing or obtaining essential or reopened services, residents and businesses should follow the guidelines and minimum standard health protocols recommended by DSHS, including social-distancing, working from home if possible, and practicing good hygiene and sanitation. Face-coverings are encouraged but not mandatory. Specifically:
- Stay home if you can;
- Wash hands often and for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60-percent alcohol;
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, doorknobs, and other places touched often; and,
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
As part of Phase 1 of the Governor’s reopening plan, the following businesses may (but are not required to) reopen on May 1 while maintaining a maximum of 25-percent capacity and continuing to implement social-distancing standards:
- All retail establishments;
- Restaurants (additional health guidance/en español);
- Movie theaters;
- Museums and Libraries;
- Businesses operated by sole proprietors; and,
- Dentists and doctors offices.
The Governor has provided a handbook with specific guidance for businesses wishing to reopen. If the curve remains flat by mid-May, the Governor may announce Phase 2, which would increase capacity to 50-percent, and so on.
As of May 8, the following businesses may (but are not required to) also reopen but with conditions detailed in the Governor’s Checklists:
- Cosmetology salons & barber shops;
- Nail salons;
- Tanning salons; and,
- Swimming pools, subject to certain limitations, including occupancy and operating levels.
As of May 18, the following may (but are not required to) reopen:
- Services provided in an office may operate with the greater of 10 individuals or 25% of the total office workforce;
- Non-essential manufacturing services at 25% occupancy;
- Gyms and exercise facilities and classes, whether indoor, outdoor, individual, or group, at 25% occupancy and additional restrictions;
- Massage and personal care services, including tattoo/piercing studios; and,
- Childcare centers.
As of May 22, the following businesses may (but are not required to) reopen or expand:
- Restaurants move to 50 percent capacity;
- Bars, wine-tasting rooms, bowling alleys at 25 percent; and,
- Zoos, aquariums, natural caverns.
As of May 31, the following businesses may (but are not required to) reopen:
- Youth sports and little leagues (spectators must social-distance);
- Summer Camps;
- Daytime and overnight camps;
- Scouting, VBS, 4H, etc.; and,
- Professional sports (without spectators): golf, auto racing, baseball, softball, tennis, football, and basketball. Special safety standards apply.
Also, people shall not visit nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
In addition to allowing access to essential or reopened services, the Governor’s Orders do not prohibit engaging in essential daily activities, including visiting parks, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging, bicycling, or other outdoor and non-contact sports (such as golf and tennis) so long as necessary precautions are maintained to reduce transmission of COVID-19. This includes limiting outdoor sports participants to no more than four.
On April 22, The Colony City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s Mayoral Declaration of a Local Disaster in response to COVID-19 such that the city will continue to follow the orders and timelines as set forth by Denton County. The local declaration incorporates previous orders from Denton County and the Governor’s Office, while also accounts for future provisions of any Executive Order or directive issued by the President of the United States, the Governor of the State of Texas, or the County Judge of Denton County.
More information about the overall response, community resources, as well as status of city facilities & programs, etc., is available at www.TheColonyTx.gov/covid19.