Here are some highlights from Waller County’s new order enforcing social distancing

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – Waller County Judge Trey Duhon signed an order during the Commissioners Court meeting Wednesday that will put restrictions in place to help enforce social distancing.

Duhon made it clear that he is not issuing a stay-at-home order, but he did sign an order that focused on social distancing all while keeping the county open.

According to Duhon, he was considering signing an order, but after careful consideration, he decided not to and instead came up with an order does a good job of balancing issues without collapsing the county.

“This could change tomorrow. This could change in two days,” Duhon said. “But right now, this is the right order for Waller county.”

The order is about two pages long and covers the entirety of the county, including cities, according to Duhon.

The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and will remain in effect through April 3.

Here are some of the restrictions are:

  • Outdoor spaces will remain open, but people must maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.
  • All businesses must have 6 feet of distance between their employees and the public. Employers are asked to maximize telecommuting and monitor the health and wellbeing of their employees.
  • Social gatherings over 10 people are not allowed.
  • Non-social gathering live church services, business meetings, etc. can be held so long as people are 6 feet apart at all times. If a building is not big enough to adhere to the requirements, the meeting or service may be held outdoors. Churches are encouraged to do video services.
  • Restaurants and bars can remain open but only provide take out, delivery or drive-thru service.
  • No gyms, massage parlors or similar institutions shall remain open.
  • Nursing homes are asked to prohibit non-essential visitors.
  • If someone in a household should test positive, the entire household is to self-quarantine.
  • Schools will remain closed

Duhon also extended the disaster declaration indefinitely and encouraged all Waller County residents to remain home.

The penalty for not adhering to the new requirements could result in a fine not to exceed $1,000 or up to 180 days in jail.

For more information, visit co.waller.tx.us.

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