Governor Abbott issues essential services order for Texas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an essential services order. The order would require anyone who is not considered an essential critical infrastructure worker to stay home.

The order will limit anyone who lives or works in the state of Texas to leaving their home only for essential activities, essential business, essential government duties and critical care duties.

According to Governor Abbott, law enforcement throughout the state can enforce the order which is punishable by a fine or jail time.

WHAT IS AN ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKER?

Abbott’s new order allows exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Workforce Guidelines. Examples of these essential services include health care, grocery stores, banking and financial services, utilities, child care for essential service employees, and government services.

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Essential workers are needed to maintain the services and functions that Americans depend on daily and must be able to operate resiliently during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Critical critical infrastructure workers work in the following areas:

  • Chemical
  • Commercial facilities
  • Communication
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Dams
  • Defense industrial base
  • Emergency services
  • Energy
  • Financial
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Government facilities
  • Health care and public health
  • Computer science
  • Nuclear reactors, materials and waste
  • Transport systems
  • Water

Governor Abbott said during the virtual press conference that Texans are still allowed to leave their homes for essential activities such as grocery shopping or getting medicine. Everyone is asked to limit non-essential activities.

Abbott said the state of Texas will continue to follow social distancing guidelines through April 30. He also said schools would remain closed until May 4.

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The essential services order comes after a number of Texas counties have already issued stay-at-home orders.

On March 22, Dallas County issued a shelter-at-home order in an attempt to contain and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Central Texas counties were soon to follow, with Travis County and Williamson County issuing stay-at-home orders on March 23. , including Houston.

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Michelle J. Kelley