'Stay Home-Work Safe' order issued for Harris County

Judge Lina Hidalgo announced a "Stay Home-Work Safe" order for Harris County and all cities in the county, including Houston.

The order is in effect at midnight tonight and lasts until April 3.

The Stay Home, Work Safe order applies throughout Harris County, including unincorporated areas and all cities within the county.


Judge Hidalgo says people should stay home except for essential needs and those with jobs that are essential to the health and safety of the community.

According to the order, businesses, except for essential business, will be required to cease all activities. Essential businesses must maintain six-foot social distancing as best as possible.

The order exempts essential workers covered in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors outlined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: Chemical; Commercial Facilities; Communications; Critical Manufacturing; Dams; Defense Industrial Base; Emergency Services; Energy; Financial Services; Food and Agriculture; Government Facilities; Healthcare and Public Health; Information Technology; Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste; Transportation Systems; Water and Wastewater Systems.

CLICK HERE for specific information on the essential jobs that operate during the order.

Restaurants will be allowed to continue takeout, delivery and drive-thru service, but restaurants must keep customers six feet apart.

Daycares that provide support for essential employees will be open.


All public and private gatherings outside of a single household or living unit will be prohibited, except for essential activities. That includes gathering essential supplies like groceries and pet food.

Judge Hidalgo says residents can leave their homes to care for a family member or pet in another household.

Parks will remain open as long as visitors maintain social distancing and stay six feet apart. No benches, playground equipment or anything that can be touched should be used.

Religious and worship services will be only via video and live stream, but faith leaders can minister one-on-one as long as social distancing is maintained.

Judge Hidalgo says if someone in a household has tested positive for COVID-19, the household will be required to isolate and will not be allowed to go to work.

Questions on the order can be submitted to stayathome@cjo.hctx.net.

THE LATEST: COVID-19 cases in the greater Houston area

More than 50 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Harris County, not including cases in the City of Houston which has reported more than 20 cases. There are nearly 200 cases in the entire greater Houston area.

Last week, Governor Greg Abbott issued a public health disaster for the State of Texas. He did not issue a Shelter in Place but did prohibit some activities like dine-in eating at restaurants and gathering in groups of 10 or more.  The public health disaster orders schools to be closed statewide. The order, which is in effect until April 3, did not prohibit people from doing things like going to the grocery store, parks or banks.

MORE: Texas declares public health disaster, closes restaurant dining rooms and schools

The governor later issued two more orders that would postpone any medically unnecessary procedures and suspend regulations to free up more hospital beds for coronavirus patients.