Abbott extends social distancing protocols, school closings

Order urges Texans to stay at home except for "essential services and activities"

Talk 1370 Newsroom
March 31, 2020 - 2:54 pm
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

File photo/Office of the Governor

AUSTIN ( -- Texans should stay at home except for "essential services and activities" for the month of April, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday.

The new order, announced Tuesday at the State Capitol, calls on Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.

Abbott made the announcement during a regular update on the state's response to COVID-19, alongside other state officials.

Tuesday's latest numbers from the Department of State Health Services show more than 42,000 Texans have been tested, with 3,266 positive cases confirmed and 41 deaths.

Abbott also ordered the closure of the state's schools to continue through May 4.

The list of "essential services and activities" follows the federal government's definition of critical infrastructure sectors, which includes:

  • Healthcare / public health
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and other first responders
  • Food and agriculture
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works and infrastructure support services
  • Communications and information technology
  • Other community- or government-based operations and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical
  • Defense industrial base
  • Commercial facilities
  • Residential/shelter facilities and services
  • Hygiene products and services

Restaurants across the state continue to be encouraged to offer food and drink for takeout or delivery, while closing their dining rooms.

The order also allows for religious services to continue, either remotely or as long as they're following social distancing guidelines.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()