On April 17, Governor Greg Abbott issued an order to reopen businesses, using a phased approach. General guidelines for specific industry sectors are included in the Governor's order, but each workplace is unique and, now that reopening has begun, employers still harbor many questions on how to implement best practices to ensure the safety of their employees and patrons.
We are committed to bringing you the latest guidelines from our local, state and federal partners.
Update: March 2- Governor Greg Abbott has issued Executive Order 34 lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent.
October 7- Governor Greg Abbott has issued Executive Order 32 superseding Executive Order 30 and decreasing occupancy levels for select businesses and services.
September 17- Governor Greg Abbott has issued Executive Order 30 expanding occupancy levels for select businesses and services, including restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries. Open Texas checklists are now updated consistent with this order.
July 2- Governor Greg Abbott has issued Executive Order 29 requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces, with few exceptions, in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases. Open Texas checklists are now updated consistent with this order.
The Governor also issued a proclamation giving mayors and county judges the ability to impose restrictions on some outdoor gatherings of over 10.
On June 25, Governor Abbott announced that the State of Texas will pause any further phases to open Texas as the state responds to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Businesses that are permitted to open under the previous phases can continue to operate at the designated occupancy levels and under the minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
- Maintain the six-foot physical distancing requirements.
- If such distancing is not feasible, other measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be rigorously practiced.
- Business capacity may be limited. View the resources below for industry-specific recommendations.
- Update-Governor Greg Abbott has issued Executive Order 29 requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces, with few exceptions, in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases.
- Consider having all employees wear cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth).
- Patrons should consider wearing cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth) when entering a business.
- Individuals should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.
- Train all employees on appropriate cleaning and disinfection and hand hygiene.
- Have employees and patrons wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the business.
- Regularly and frequently clean and disinfect any regularly touched or shared surfaces and any items that come into contact with customers.
- Make hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar disinfectant readily available to employees and customers.
- Document cleaning practices.
- Gyms must sanitize workout equipment after each use.
- Retailers are encouraged to consider dedicating a certain period of time each day for only at-risk customers or deliver purchased goods to vehicles to reduce the need for at-risk customers to enter the store.
Resources from Town Hall: Oct. 27
- City of Waco Emergency Declaration - Extended through 10-31-2020
- Pre and Post Test Leave Guidelines
- PowerPoint Presentation
- DSHS Checklist for All Employers and Event Organizers
- FFCRA Notice Federal Employees
- FFCRA Notice Non-Federal Employees
- Executive Order GA-29 - July 2
- Executive Order GA-32 - October 7
- DSHS Letter to Texas Employers - English
- DSHS Letter to Texas Employers - Spanish
- Additional Resources:
- Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas:
- Centers for Disease Control:
- Reopening Decision Tree Guide for Employers
- Coronavirus Resource Center for Businesses and Workplaces
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (Updated May 2020)
- Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Workplaces and Businesses
- FAQs: Reducing the Spread of COVID-19 in Workplaces
- FAQs: Healthy Business Operations
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration:
- National Safety Council:
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
- White House Guidelines:
Path Forward Webinar Series from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
This weekly virtual event series, Path Forward, explores the complex issues that must be considered as part of a responsible reopening strategy. Each week a panel of experts discusses topics like barriers to reopening, big questions about immunity and liability, and ways employers can use innovative approaches to ensure safety into the workplace.
Moderated by the U.S. Chamber President Suzanne Clark, Path Forward airs weekly on Thursdays at 2 p.m. CCT.
Reopen Texas: Return to Work the Right Way from UTHealth School of Public Health & HASC
To support the community in looking at what the immediate future holds for various industries, UTHealth School of Public Health & HASC are hosting a seven-part complimentary statewide weekly industry-specific webinar series with an opportunity for live Q&A sessions.
Each webinar will feature a panel of specialists in occupational safety, occupational medicine, risk assessment, and guest panelists who are industry representatives experienced in return to work practices and will take place on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. CDT.
Wage and Hour Division U.S. Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor will host four webinars in June and July to discuss how the Department is helping workers and employers by reducing regulatory burdens and making it easier to understand and comply with the law. The webinars will also provide an opportunity for workers, employers, and state and local governments to ask questions and discuss how the Department can expand and improve access to its compliance assistance materials.
Agriculture | Tuesday, June 23, 2020 | 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EDT | Learn more & register >
Manufacturing and Construction | Thursday, June 25, 2020 | 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EDT | Learn more & register >
Food Service, Hospitality, and Retail | Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EDT | Learn more & register >
Health Care and Emergency Responders | Wednesday, July 1, 2020 | 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EDT | Learn more & register >