What qualifies as an essential service or activity in Texas?

By Product Expert | Posted in Community, FAQs, Texas on Monday, April 6th, 2020 at 7:54 pm
A cloudy sky over Dallas, TX

Essential Businesses, Services and Activities Allowed During COVID-19 Quarantine in Texas

With Governor Abbott recently extending and expanding his stay-at-home order, it’s been reinforced to Texas residents that they must suspend all but essential activities, while all but non-essential services are put on hold and non-essential businesses are forced to close. This still-recent but now omnipresent terminology has many Texans wondering: what constitutes an essential service, business or activity in the Lone Star state?

A nurse stands ready to provide healthcare in front of a heartbeat line

The most recent order (as of this writing) issued by Governor Abbott outlines more than a dozen sectors that provide essential services. These include services pertaining to:

  • Health Care
  • Energy/Utilities
  • Financial Services
  • Food
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Religious Services (a controversial designation unique to Texas)

This means businesses and services one can expect to still see functioning during the coronavirus quarantine period include grocery stores, banks, and childcare for essential service employees.

What activities are considered essential and allowed during quarantine in Texas?

Activities deemed acceptable to leave the house for during the stay-at-home period include:

  • Trips to the grocery store or gas station
  • Providing or obtaining essentials
  • Hunting or fishing
  • Physical activity like jogging and bicycling

Note that when doing the above, it’s still highly important that one honor the health precautions outlined by the CDC such as social distancing and frequent, thorough handwashing. Health experts are also beginning to encourage the use of medical face masks in public.

How does the Texas government decide which services are essential?

The designation of essential services is based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.

What should one not do during the COVID-19 quarantine period in Texas?

Governor Abbott recommends that Texans not eat or drink at bars, restaurants and food courts. Dining in-person is banned, though takeout and delivery are encouraged. Individuals should also not visit gyms or massage parlors. And they should not hit up tattoo/piercing studios or cosmetology salons.

People are prohibited from visiting nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities and long-term care facilities, unless they’re going there to provide critical assistance.

With extra time indoors, it’s a great time to learn: What does a drivetrain do?

How long does the current stay-at-home order in Texas last?

The most recent (as of this writing) Texas stay-at-home order took effect on Thursday, April 2nd, and is currently set to expire on April 30th.

What happens if I violate the Texas stay-at-home order?

Those who violate the stay-at-home order in Texas could be subject to a fine, jail time, or both.