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Hidalgo extends stay-at-home order

Well, sort of.

Judge Lina Hidalgo

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Thursday issued new guidelines urging residents to stay home when possible, even as Gov. Greg Abbott reopens most businesses.

The extended Stay Home, Work Safe order is in effect through June 10, though it bears little resemblance to the original directive in March that closed most businesses and ordered residents to remain at home.

San Antonio and Bexar County extended their own stay-home guidelines through June 4.

Abbott’s orders reopening Texas businesses override any rules from local officials. The governor also barred cities and counties from enforcing facemask requirements, as Hidalgo had attempted.

The county judge said her order reminds residents to keep practicing social distancing.

“I don’t want the community to get the message that we’re done,” Hidalgo said. “We may well be in the eye of the hurricane. There’s still no cure, no vaccine.”


Hidalgo on Thursday also unveiled a series of guidelines meant to protect employees returning to their jobs and help businesses create safe workplaces. They include staggering shifts to avoid congregating workers, taking employees’ temperatures, providing face coverings and never requiring anyone to come to work if they feel ill.

Retail firms should clean and disinfect shops before reopening and give employees a break every hour so they may wash their hands or take other safety precautions, she said. Employers also should keep attendance of all workers on-site each day, so contract tracing can easily occur in the event of an outbreak.

State Rep. Armando Walle, whom Hidalgo appointed the county’s coronavirus recovery czar, said it is hoped the worker guidelines will prevent outbreaks like those discovered at meatpacking plants in the Texas Panhandle.

You can see the amended order here. It heavily references the most recent gubernatorial executive order, and encourages everyone to continue social distancing. The fact of the matter is that while the daily new case average is holding steady, that means it isn’t decreasing. We’re not getting any closer to having no new cases. That means that another increase in the new case rate could still happen, because the disease hasn’t gone away. If we don’t want a spike to happen and we do want to reopen, we have to keep being careful and keep exercising caution. We’re not past this, we’re choosing to live with it. It’s up to us to make sure we don’t regret that choice.

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  1. Joel says:

    “It’s up to us to make sure we don’t regret that choice.”

    unfortunately, it isn’t even this.

    it’s up to the biggest dipsticks among us … who couldn’t care less about anybody but themselves.

  2. Jason Hochman says:

    The number of cases in Houston has increased due to increased testing. But the percentage of positive tests has declined. When testing was primarily symptomatic subjects, the positive rate was around 15%. With expanded testing it is about 5%

  3. Manny says:

    Jason your source of information comes from where?

  4. Jason Hochman says:

    Hi Manny, I got it from my work, it is a reliable source however, if you look at the post today, the state has been reporting the antibody tests and the PCR tests as one number. The antibody tests can detect active infection, but also may be detecting the antibody in a recovered person. The PCR test looks for the virus RNA and will diagnose an active case only.