Texas Declares Public Health Disaster, Gov Closes Schools, Bars, Dine-In Restaurants, And Gyms

Mar 20, 2020

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

EXECUTIVE ORDER-    The Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services has declared a Public Health Disaster. All schools, bars, dining areas of restaurants,  gyms  and fitness centers are ordered to close in Texas to prevent community spread of the Novel Coronavirus.  Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference saying the directives are in line with the latest guidance from federal health authorities. 

“We must defeat COVID-19 with the only tool we have available to us," Abbott explained. "We must strangle its expansion by reducing the ways we are currently transmitting it.” 

Governor Abbott  said the two-week restrictions  go into effect  at midnight Friday and  remain  until midnight  April 3rd. He said that time frame may be extended depending on the status of the virus.  

DISASTER DECLARATION - Governor Greg Abbott (ctr) of Texas issues executive orders after state disaster declaration was made by Texas Department of State Health Services.
Credit Courtesy: PBS News Hour

Abbott said “The more that people do to reduce their public contact, the sooner the COVID-19 disease will be contained and the sooner this executive order will expire.”                           

In addition to the closures,  people are directed to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 and facilities such as nursing homes are closed to visitors unless there is a critical need.