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Health Department

Posted on: April 28, 2020

UPDATED ORDERS (Modified): Gov. Abbott Opening Texas; Judge Branick's 8th Amended Order

Jefferson County emblem

April 27, 2020 


Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick has issued an Eighth Amended Emergency Order for Jefferson County, which includes all Orders issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Strike Force to Open Texas Report. The report outlines the opening of businesses with strict guidelines on proper operation. Governor Abbott is adamant that if businesses do not feel it is the right time to open, they will not be forced to do so; likewise, if Texans feel it is not safe to visit open businesses, they have the right to continue to stay home. A list of the types of businesses to be opened, and under which phase, are also outlined in the Governor’s report.

Governor Abbott has also issued an Executive Order relating to travel as he opens Texas for business as part of a safe plan to build the Texas economy. Travelers from New Orleans and the State of Louisiana may travel without being held for screening at the borders.

Governor Abbott’s Strike Force to Open Texas Report 4/27/2020

Eighth Amended Emergency Order from Jefferson County Judge Branick 

Expanding Travel Without Restrictions


April 28, 2020

Update taken from https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-order-establishing-strike-force-to-open-texas 

"The Governor’s second Executive Order (GA-16) relates to the safe, strategic reopening of select services and activities in Texas. This order establishes a temporary "Retail-To-Go" model that will allow retail outlets in Texas to reopen beginning Friday, April 24. Under this model, reopened establishments are required to deliver items to customer’s cars, homes, or other locations to minimize contact.

Under this Executive Order, schools — including public, private, and higher education institutions — will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers may go into the classroom for video instruction, to perform administrative duties, and to clean out their classrooms.

The Governor’s third Executive Order (GA-15) relates to hospital capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the COVID-19 response. The order loosens restrictions on surgeries put in place by Governor Abbott in March. Beginning at 11:59pm on April 21 through 11:59pm on May 8, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities must continue to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without timely performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death as determined by a patient’s physician. Exceptions now include:

  • Any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the PPE needed to cope with COVID-19, or
  • Any surgery or procedure performed in a licensed health care facility that has certified in writing to Texas HHSC both (1) that it will reserve at least 25% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVID-19 patients, and (2) that it will not request any PPE from any public source — whether federal, state, or local — for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster." 

The Governor today also directed state parks to reopen on Monday, April 20 with strict guidelines to reduce transmission of COVID-19 – including requiring visitors to wear face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, and prohibiting the gathering of groups larger than five.


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