Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo Extends Stay at Home, Work Safe Order to April 30

By: Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo
| Published 03/31/2020

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HOUSTON, TX -- As the region continues to see growth in COVID-19 cases, County Judge Lina Hidalgo today extended the county’s Stay Home-Work Safe order to 11:59 p.m. on April 30. The official order, which is posted on www.readyharris.org, advises non-essential businesses to shut down and for residents to stay home except for essential activities.

“During this critically important time for our region, we need to maintain our efforts to drastically reduce public gatherings and activities,” Judge Hidalgo said. “The increase in cases we have coming into our hospitals, the projections from our healthcare leaders show this is by no means the time to go back to normal. We all see the case rate growing.

Texas Medical Center CEOs commended the county’s decision in a joint statement, saying the extension is necessary “to save lives and protect our patients, families and the region.”

The Stay Home-Work Safe order, which was first issued on March 24, allows “essential” businesses and workers to continue operations as long as social-distancing practices are in place. “The intent behind this order is to drastically limit public gathering and activities - a practice we know reduces the spread of COVD-19,” Judge Hidalgo said. “Any uncertainties that arise from this order should be resolved in favor of staying home or staying closed.”

On Monday, Ready Harris launched an online dashboard showing the total number of confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19, the disease caused by Coronavirus. Additionally, the county has deployed an online screening tool to help residents determine if a COVD-19 test is warranted.

Violations of the Stay Home-Work Safe order are subject to fines and up to 180 days in jail. Please seek legal counsel if you are unsure if a certain business, service, or function is considered essential. (For FAQ click here, to contact us click here, to report a violation click here, to request a waiver, click here.)

Essential Businesses include:

Critical Infrastructure as identified by the US Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Essential Government Functions (law enforcement, and other services for the health, safety and welfare of the public)

Essential Healthcare Operations (hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, mental health providers, blood banks, home and residential based care for seniors, adults and children, veterinary and animal welfare operations)

Essential Retail (grocery stores, warehouse stores, gas stations, convenience stores, food producers and service providers)

Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations

Essential Services Necessary to Maintain Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses (trash and recycling collection, mail and shipping services, building maintenance and security, and funeral homes)

News Media

Childcare and Adult Care Services

Infrastructure, Development, Operation and Construction Services (public works construction, housing construction, commercial, manufacturing, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, and telecommunications systems)

Transportation Businesses (car dealerships, parts distributors, maintenance and repair facilities, gas stations, vehicles for hire)

Labor Union Functions

NASA and Port of Houston

Airports and related operations

Professional services (legal, accounting, insurance, and real estate services)

Other businesses that are not listed but either are or support critical industries or services.

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