COVID-19 Orders

Governor Abbott Establishes Statewide Face Covering Requirement, Issues Proclamation To Limit Gatherings

Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order July 2 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.

JUNE 26 - Governor Abbott places limits on certain businesses and services with direct link to infections 

Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order limiting certain businesses and services as part of the state’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The order includes the following:

  • All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 PM Friday, June 26. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 
  • Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
  • Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
  • Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.

View the Governor’s Executive Order.

June 26 - UPDATE to County Judge Order

Amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra modified his Order #4 that went into effect June 22. That order, among other provisions, requires people to wear masks or face coverings in public places and is in place until July 20.

The amended Order will now also prohibit outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people in the unincorporated areas of Hays County, unless otherwise permitted by recent Governor’s Orders.

“This Amendment to Order #4 is one additional way we can help slow the spread of the virus,” Becerra said. “Large gatherings provide an opportunity for COVID-19, which is highly contagious, to be rapidly transmitted to many others within a short timeframe.”

Becerra added that limiting trips/travel/outings, washing hands frequently and staying at least six feet apart from others remain the best ways to slow the spread.

“I’m asking all Hays County residents to do their part to protect the most vulnerable in our community,” he said.

Below is the language from the Amended Order:

Outdoor Gatherings of 100 People or More in the Unincorporated Areas

Gatherings, in the unincorporated areas of Hays County, of 100 people or more, unless otherwise authorized by the Executive Order(s) of Governor Greg Abbott, are prohibited and shall not be authorized by the Hays County Judge.

In accordance with the limitations contained in the executive orders of Governor Greg Abbott, any peace officer or other person with lawful authority is hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of this Amendment in accordance with the authority granted under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.

June 18 - Hays County Judge issues face mask order

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra issued a new executive order that, among other provisions, requires face coverings be worn in public. The new order closely models what several other Central Texas counties are implementing.

Effective Monday, June 22, Judge Becerra’s new Order will accomplish three things:

1. Continue the local disaster declaration and public health emergency here in Hays County

2. Require all commercial entities in Hays to develop and implement a health and safety policy, and

3. Require all people 10 and older to wear a face covering when in public, when unable to keep six feet away from other people.

Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

  • When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside
  • While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
  • When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk
  • While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment
  • While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening, for example, banks
  • When consuming food or drink

Please note: Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent handwashing, and self-isolation when sick. All people should follow Centers for Disease Control recommendations for how to wear and take off a mask. Residents should employ the following habits while in public:

  • Washing hands before you leave home and when you return,
  • Staying at least six feet away from others,
  • Avoiding touching nose or face,
  • Not using disposable masks more than three times, and
  • Washing reusable cloth masks regularly to prevent the spread of the virus.

Consistent with Executive Order GA-26 issued by Governor Greg Abbott, no civil or criminal penalty will be imposed on individuals for failure to wear a face covering.

This Order, which is detailed below, expires July 20, 2020.

Hays County Order

Governor Abbott Announces Phase Three To Open Texas

Governor Greg Abbott announced June 3 the third phase of the State of Texas’ plan to safely open the economy while containing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase III, effective immediately, all businesses in Texas will be able to operate at up to 50% capacity, with very limited exceptions. Business that previously have been able to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so, and most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits. All businesses and customers should continue to follow minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

As with previous phases, the Phase III plan is based on the advice and support of the four doctors on the Strike Force to Open Texas medical team. Via Executive Order, Phase III begins immediately. A breakdown of Phase III can be found below. 

Effective June 3:

All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions. 

Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.

Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity. 

Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.  

Effective June 12:

Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%. 

Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.

Effective June 19:

Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.

Additional Openings:

Special provisions have been made for outdoor gatherings, such as Fourth of July celebrations, but it is imperative that local officials and public health officials collaborate on safe standards. These provisions are included in the Governor’s Executive Order and are also available on the Open Texas webpage. 

Further Protocols:

All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols from DSHS. For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit http://open.texas.gov.

Reminders for those going out:

  • Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings.
  • People should not be in groups greater than ten when possible.
  • People over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
  • People are still asked to avoid nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities.

View the Governor’s Executive Order.

State of Texas COVID-19 Orders