Status Update from the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 2020
The Office of County Judge Mark Keough along with the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announce the following notice in lieu of recent events in Montgomery County. At 9:30 a.m. this morning Judge Mark Keough signed an order affecting food and drink establishments and movie theaters in response to the current and anticipated needs to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The order is attached, and the content is below:
ORDER AFFECTING THE OCCUPANCY OF CERTAIN FOOD AND DRINK ESTABLISHMENTS
WHEREAS, a local disaster declaration was declared on March 12, 2020, ratified and extended for 30 days by a duly called Emergency Meeting of Commissioners Court.
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 virus is contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact, especially in group settings; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance to all Americans, requesting gatherings of 50 persons or more to cease for the next eight weeks on March 15, 2020; and
WHEREAS, President Donald J. Trump issued guidance that all Americans should limit gatherings to 10 or less; and
WHEREAS, an emerging public health emergency does currently exist and is expected to worsen, where Montgomery County desires to slow down and prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout Montgomery County; and
WHEREAS, our contiguous neighbor, Harris County, issued an order on March 16, 2020 closing all restaurants and dining establishments, limiting them to only takeout, to-go, or drive-thru service options, and closing all bars and clubs throughout all of Harris County; and
WHEREAS, restaurants in their own right are a means to provide citizens of Montgomery County a means to access an alternative food source.
NOW THEREFORE, I, COUNTY JUDGE OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED BY TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 418, HEREBY AMEND AND ORDER:
1) All restaurants shall reduce occupancy of the entire premise to 50 people or less at any one time in total.
a. Tables, shall be spaced a minimum of 10 feet apart.
2) All restaurants may continue to-go, takeout, delivery, and catering operations.
3) Restaurants shall not allow any employee to report to work who is sick.
a. Strict handwashing and sanitizing operations must be deployed.
4) Any bar or club shall limit occupancy to 50 persons or less at any one time in total.
5) Movie theaters shall limit occupancy to 25 persons or less per screen at any one time.
Lack of compliance could result in shut down and this order could be amended or extended at any time.
This order supersedes any provisions of a previous order issued March 16, 2020 that addresses restaurants.
This order takes effect on March 17, 2020 at 3 p.m. and remains in effect until April 1, 2020 or until rescinded or extended by a future order.
This order does not alter or amend any previous order related to the occupancy of premises issued by the County Judge of Montgomery County, Texas, issued on March 16, 2020.
Signed this 17th day of March, 2020.
Meghan Ballard ArthurHomeland Security Planner and Public Information Officer Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency ManagementO: 936.523.3907 | C: firstname.lastname@example.org