The order went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and will last until April 3. It applies throughout Fort Bend County, including unincorporated areas and all cities within the county.
You may have heard that the Fort Bend County judge has issued a ‘STAY HOME TO SAVE LIVES’ order. We ask that you don't call our dispatch center with your questions/concerns about this order. You are to call/email the county judge's office. You can get details from his FB& Twitter pic.twitter.com/nxRbUf0OyP— FBCSO Texas (@FBCSO) March 24, 2020
Fort Bend County KP George said in a press conference on Tuesday that he had no choice but to issue the order due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the county.
The decision was made hours after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a Stay Home - Work Safe Order for Houston and Harris County residents.
Judge George says the order does not prohibit people from performing tasks essential to their health and safety like going to the doctor, going to the grocery store, getting medicine, engaging in outdoor activities, caring for a family member or pet in another household or going to work for an essential business.
According to the federal government's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency guidelines, there are 16 sectors considered essential:
- Critical Manufacturing
- Commercial Facilities
- Defense Industrial Base
- Emergency Services
- Food & Agriculture
- Government Facilities
- Healthcare & Public Health
- Information Technology
- Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste
- Transportation Systems
"This order allows for essential businesses to operate as long as they comply with the necessary order," Judge George said.
Religious and worship services are to be streamed online only.
Parks will remain open, but no playgrounds, benches, exercise equipment or basketball courts may be used. People who enjoy the outdoor spaces must maintain social distancing.
Day cares who provide care for employees of essential businesses can remain open.
Restaurants can continue providing takeout and drive-thru service, but must maintain social distancing between customers as well.
In order to safely practice social distancing, you must stay six feet away from another person.