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COVID-19 & Texas Law

This guide is updated to reflect information pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information in this guide is subject to change at any time.

Stay-At-Home/Reopening


Current "Stay-at-Home," or Reopening Orders

State Executive Orders

Reopening

On March 2, 2021, Governor Abbott signed Executive Order GA-34. This order allowed businesses not in high-hospitalization areas to open at 100% capacity without state-imposed restrictions. In areas of "high hospitalizations," defined as Trauma Service Areas [PDF] that have had seven consecutive days where more than 15% of hospitalized patients are COVID patients, the order allows county judges to use mitigation strategies. The strategies used by the judges cannot:

  • Require businesses to operate at less than 50% of capacity;
  • Impose occupancy limits for religious services, public and private schools, institutions of higher education, and child care services;
  • Impose jail as a penalty for violating any COVID-related order; and
  • Impose any kind of penalty for failure to wear a face covering.

The order allows law enforcement to enforce trespassing laws and remove individuals who refuse to wear a mask at a business that requires them.

A list of areas with high hospitalizations can be found on the Department of State Health Services' website.

Current Local "Stay at Home" or "Shelter in Place" Orders

Cities and counties in Texas can issue "shelter in place," "stay at home," or area quarantine orders. You should check your local news outlets to see if an order has been issued in your area.

Enforcement of "Stay at Home" or "Shelter in Place" Orders

State law gives the state government and local governments the authority to create penalties for violations of emergency management plans. You should check the details of the orders in your area to find the specific control measures in place and any potential consequences for violation of those measures.

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