Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo has extended her order requiring all Houstonians to stay at home in an effort to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The “stay at home, work safe” order, originally issued by Hidalgo on March 24, is now set to run through the end of April, requiring all “nonessential” businesses to close in the interim. The extension was announced in a press conference with Hidalgo and Houston mayor Sylvester Turner, along with Houston-area health officials, on Tuesday afternoon.
“It is not the time right now to scale back in our containment measures,” Hidalgo said in the press conference. “If anything, it is time to double-down because our rates continue to grow very rapidly and we have not yet gotten to the point of flattening the curve.”
As such, residents of Harris County should plan to stay at home unless they’re heading out to buy food, medical supplies, and other essential household items. “We’re standing together in complete agreement on the stay at home, work safe order, which is critically important,” said Houston mayor Sylvester Turner during the press conference.
All public and private gatherings outside of a single household are prohibited, according to the order, with the exception of people providing essential services. Fortunately, Hidalgo’s order does allow restaurants to continue operating takeout and delivery service, as long as they maintain social distancing guidelines for customers. Essential retailers like grocery stores will also be allowed to remain open while the stay-at-home order is in place.
Hidalgo’s press conference came shortly after Texas governor Greg Abbott extended the state of Texas’s social distancing guidelines through April 30, along with closing schools until May 4.
Hidalgo’s order is currently in effect, and will run until 11:59 p.m. on April 30.
Looking for takeout and delivery options while the shelter-in-place order is in effect? Check out Eater Houston’s guide to the city’s best takeout options right now, along with a list of restaurants delivering wine, beer, and more boozy drinks.