COVID-19 Texas: Galveston issues 'stay-at-home' order

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Here is how each county in the Houston area is handling the operation of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs:

Harris County
All bars and nightclubs in Harris County, including those in the county's unincorporated areas, have been ordered to shut down in order to maintain social distancing for 15 days.

The closures began on March 17. County Judge Lina Hidalgo said all of the county's restaurants must only offer drive-thru and delivery services and must shut down any dining areas.

Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen said a hotline has been set up for people to report any sightings of overcrowding at bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
She also said citations carrying up to a $2,000 fine may be issued.

Montgomery County
The order to close bars, nightclubs, and restaurants without drive-thru services in Montgomery County will begin Thursday, March 19 at 8 a.m. In addition, gyms, movie theaters and "amusement type businesses" will also be shut down. No events with 10 people or more will be allowed, according to the county. All places of worship are urged to comply with CDC guidelines and should limit gatherings to 10 people or less. The county said grocery stores are exempted from this order.

Fort Bend County

The order to close bars, nightclubs, and restaurants without drive-thru services in Fort Bend County will take effect at midnight Wednesday and will continue for at least 15 days, similar to orders in other counties. County Judge KP George issued the order Tuesday, March 17. Take-out, delivery, and drive-thru services will still be allowed to operate.

Galveston County
On Monday, March 23, Galveston County became the first Houston-area county to issue a "stay-at-home" order.

According to County Judge Mark Henry, people are only allowed to go out for necessary reasons such as work, medical emergencies, doctors visits, grocery shopping or to pick up meals. It also reinforces the already state mandate of limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people.

All bars and restaurant dining rooms must remain closed and must only offer delivery, pick-up or drive-thru services.

"It's an order that while it carries criminal penalties and a fine of up to $1,000 for violators, the judge admits will not have much enforcement power because the county's law enforcement entities do not have the extra manpower to chase down individual violators," read the order.

To view the full order, click here

Brazoria County
No orders to reduce service, hours, or capacity.

Waller County
No orders to reduce service, hours, or capacity.

Austin County
No orders to reduce service, hours, or capacity.

Chambers County
The county issued a disaster declaration on Thursday, March 12 and a curfew has been ordered for anyone under 18 who are not in school.

Walker County
The county issued an overnight, 5-hour curfew beginning Sunday, March 22. The curfew begins at 12:00 a.m. until 5 a.m. All residents must remain at home. Those who are on their way to work between those hours or are in need of a medical emergency will be exempt. According to the county, violators may face a $1,000 fine or 180 days in Walker County Jail.

This video above is from a previous story.

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