Reopening our economy
Governor Abbott announced Phase 1 for the reopening of the Texas Economy on April 27, 2020.
Following reopening guidelines is key to avoid future shut downs that could have a dire impact in our business community.
As the economy reopens we are likely planning for the dreaded question: What do we do when someone - be it a client or employee - from our business gets sick?
This could become a complex challenge, as it requires quick but sensitive and empathetic action.
To help you navigate this potential situation, we compiled several resources into Managing COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace, a five-step plan to help you approach this situation with emotional and business intelligence.
Industries Best Practices
Starting April 24th, non-essential retail stores are allowed to resume operations via delivery and curb-side pick-up services without limitation.
On Friday, May 1st, GA-18 also allows non-essential retail stores, movie theaters, dine-in restaurants (not including bars), shopping malls, museums and libraries to operate with in-store traffic, but occupancy limits are reduced to 25%.
Within shopping malls, the food-court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed.
Single-person offices may reopen as well.
Churches and places of worship remain open. Outdoor sports are allowed to resume so long as no more than four participants are playing together at one time. Certain social distancing practices must also be followed.
Essential services such as farmers and ranchers, grocery and drug stores, banks, and gas stations will continue to operate. Public swimming pools, bars, gyms, cosmetology salons, massage establishments, interactive amusement venues, such as bowling alleys and video arcades, and tattoo and piercing studios will remain closed through Phase 1.
Nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities must remain closed to visitors unless to provide critical assistance.
Requires all licensed health care professionals to operate by and must comply with, any emergency rules promulgated by their respective licensing agencies dictating minimum standards for safe practice during the COVID- 19 disaster.
Every hospital licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health and Safety Code shall reserve at least 15 percent of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVD-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVD-19 patients, as determined by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Eliminates the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for individuals traveling from Louisiana. Under GA-20, the mandated 14-day quarantine for travelers from the following areas remains in place: California; Connecticut; New York; New Jersey; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan, and Miami, Florida.
Executive Order GA-21
Allows the following:
Retail services that may be provided through pick-up, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep.
In-store retail services, for retail establishments that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the retail establishment.
Dine-in restaurant services, for restaurants that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the restaurant; provided, however, that a. this applies only to restaurants that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages; b. the occupancy limits do not apply to customers seated in outdoor areas of the restaurant; and c. valet services are prohibited except for vehicles with placards or plates for disabled parking.
Movie theaters that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of any individual theater for any screening.
Shopping malls that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the shopping mall; provided, however, that within shopping malls, the food-court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed.
Museums and libraries that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy; provided, however, that a. local public museums and local public libraries may so operate only if permitted by the local government, and b. any components of museums or libraries that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, must remain closed.
Golf course operations.
Local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government.
Wedding venues and the services required to conduct weddings; provided, however, that for weddings held indoors other than at a church, congregation, or house of worship, the facility may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the facility.
Wedding reception services, for facilities that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the facility; provided, however, that the occupancy limits do not apply to the outdoor areas of a wedding reception or to outdoor wedding receptions.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020: a. Cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade; provided, however, that all such salons, shops, and establishments must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations. b. Tanning salons; provided, however, that all such salons must ensure at least six feet of social distancing between operating work stations. c. Swimming pools; provided, however, that (1) indoor swimming poois may operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the pooi facility; (ii) outdoor swimming pools may operate at up to 25 percent of normal operating limits as determined by the pooi operator; and (iii) local public swimming pools may so operate only if permitted by the local government.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020: a. Services provided by office workers in offices that operate at up to the greater of (i) five individuals, or (ii) 25 percent of the total office workforce; provided, however, that the individuals maintain appropriate social distancing. b. Manufacturing services, for facilities that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the facility. c. Gyms and exercise facilities and classes that operate at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the gym or exercise facility; provided, however, that locker rooms and shower facilities must remain closed, but restrooms may open.
Executive Order GA-22 (May 5th)
Allows cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade, is hereby amended to immediately reopen.
Executive Order GA-23 (May 18th)
Relates to expanding openings in the State.
Phase III (June 3rd)
Every business establishment in Texas shall operate at no more than 50 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment; provided, however, that:
1. There is no occupancy limit for the following:
a. any services listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 3.1 or any subsequent version;
b. religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship;
c. local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations relating to licensing (including marriage licenses), permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, as determined by the local government;
d. child-care services;
e. youth camps, including but not limited to those defined as such under Chapter 141 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and including all summer camps and other daytime and overnight camps for youths; and
f. recreational sports programs for youths and adults;
2. Except as provided below by paragraph number 5, this 50 percent occupancy limit does not apply to outdoor areas, events, or establishments, except that the following outdoor areas or outdoor venues shall operate at no more than 50 percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the owner:
a. professional, collegiate, or similar sporting events;
b. swimming pools;
c. water parks;
d. museums and libraries;
e. zoos, aquariums, natural caverns, and similar facilities; and
f. rodeos and equestrian events;
3. This 50 percent occupancy limit does not apply to the following establishments that operate with at least six feet of social distancing between work stations:
a. cosmetology salons, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons/shops, and other establishments where licensed cosmetologists or barbers practice their trade;
b. massage establishments and other facilities where licensed massage therapists or other persons licensed or otherwise authorized to practice under Chapter 455 of the Texas Occupations Code practice their trade; and
c. other personal-care and beauty services such as tanning salons, tattoo studios, piercing studios, hair removal services, and hair loss treatment and growth services;
4. Amusement parks and carnivals shall operate at no more than 50 percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the owner, except that in counties with more than 1,000 cumulative cases of COVID-19, amusement parks may not begin operating until 12:01 a.m. on June 19, 2020;
5. For any outdoor gathering estimated to be in excess of 500 people, other than those set forth above in paragraph numbers 1, 2, or 4, the county judge or mayor, as appropriate, in consultation with the local public health authority, may impose additional restrictions;
6. For dine-in services by restaurants that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages, the occupancy limit shall increase at 12:01 a.m. on June 12, 2020, to permit such restaurants to operate at up to 75 percent of the total listed occupancy of the restaurant;
7. For indoor bars and similar indoor establishments that are not restaurants as defined above and that hold a permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, only those customers who are seated may be served;
8. For any business establishment that is subject to a 50 percent “total listed occupancy” limit or “normal operating limit,” and that is in a county that has filed with DSHS, and is in compliance with, the requisite attestation form promulgated by DSHS regarding minimal cases of COVID-19, the business establishment may operate at up to 75 percent of the total listed occupancy or normal operating limit of the establishment starting 12:01 a.m. on June 12, 2020;
9. For purposes of this executive order, facilities with retractable roofs are considered indoor facilities, whether the roof is opened or closed; and
10. Staff members are not included in determining operating levels, except for manufacturing services and office workers.
Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; provided, however, that this face-covering requirement does not apply to the following:
1. any person younger than 10 years of age;
2. any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
3. any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
4. any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
5. any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
6. any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personalcare service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
7. any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
8. any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poli watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
9. any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
10. any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience
The following are the minimum recommended health protocols for businesses and organizations choosing to operate in Texas. Click here to see all the checklists.