Edit: The text of the Stay-at-Home order is now available here.
It’s official. As of midnight tonight, March 24th, Houstonians are under an order to stay at home to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Stay-Home-Work-Safe order issued by Judge Lina Hidalgo is for all of Harris County, which includes Houston.
BREAKING: I’ve just issued a Stay Home-Work Safe Order for Harris County residents effective midnight tonight. Folks should stay home except for essential needs. This moment in history will define our future. History will say we prioritized human life. pic.twitter.com/Wnn22uZXNq
— Harris County Judge (@HarrisCoJudge) March 24, 2020
Here’s what we know so far:
- The order allows essential businesses to stay open while maintaining safe social distancing practices. This includes healthcare facilities, gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants for take-out only. It likely includes more, but we’re still waiting on an official list.
- Citizens may also leave their homes for essential activities such as buying groceries or supplies or picking up food.
- Both public and private gatherings outside the home are not allowed.
- Parks will be open, but playgrounds, exercise equipment, and benches are off limits.
Houston follows in the footsteps of San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas, issuing stay-at-home orders to try and curb the expanding virus.
The order currently remains in effect until April 3rd.