Harris County judge extends ‘stay home, work safe’ order until end of April; what it means for Houstonians

HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo extended the week-long “Stay Home, Work Safe” order to continue till April 30, she announced in a press conference Tuesday.

In a letter she sent to Harris County mayors Tuesday, Hidalgo wrote that “Texas Medical Center hospital leaders unanimously advise us that our efforts to drastically reduce public gatherings and activities remain critically important.”

She went on to write that at 3 p.m. Tuesday, she will announce the extension of the order to 11:59 p.m. on April 30.

Per the order, everyone in Houston and Harris County is required to remain at home unless they are conducting essential business such as grocery shopping, picking up food or going to work at businesses that are deemed essential.

Public and private gatherings outside of a household or single living unit are prohibited. Parks remain open, but the use of benches, playgrounds and workout equipment is prohibited. The order also requires everyone to maintain social distancing of at least six feet. Grocery stores and gas stations remain open. Restaurants can operate, but only as a take-out option.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined Hidalgo during the press conference. Both said if things change, they will lift the order, but health officials have been unanimous in advising the extended order.

Hidalgo’s announcement came just an hour after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced an executive order that extended social distancing guidelines till April 30. He also announced that all Texas schools will be closed through May 4.

As soon as Harris County releases the new extended order, KPRC 2 will share the document with readers.