Gov. Greg Abbott released a video on Wednesday with a message to Texans about his executive order that went into effect Thursday amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I know this is a great sacrifice, and we must respond to this challenge with strength and with resolve,” Abbott said.
The executive order extends social-distancing guidelines through April 30. The order closes schools to in-person classroom attendance until May 4. Abbott asked people to work from home unless they are providing essential services.
Abbott said gyms, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, or cosmetology salons should close and said all bars and restaurants should close with the exception of food and drink pick-up and delivery.
People are prohibited from visiting nursing homes, state-supported living centers, assisted living facilities or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
There are exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Exceptions include healthcare, grocery stores, banking and financial services, utilities, child care for essential service employees, and government services.
People are allowed to go to the grocery store or gas station, obtain other essential services, go hunting or fishing or engage in outdoor physical activity as long as there is no contact with others outside of the same household.
Churches are exempted from the order but are encouraged to conduct remote services if possible, and if not, follow proper sanitation and implement social distancing.
Watch Gov. Abbott’s message:
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
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