31 March 2020 – Executive Order instructs Texans to minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household

Type of Intervention: Executive Order
Sectors Involved: Civil Defence, Private Sector and Businesses
Intervention Categories: Individual measures; Education and awareness
Level of Jurisdiction: Texas
Lead People/Agency: Governor of the State of Texas

Overview: Relating to statewide continuity of essential services and activities during the COVID-19 disaster; specifically, in accordance with guidance from DSHS Commissioner Dr. Hellerstedt, and to achieve the goals established by the President to reduce the spread of COVD-19, every person in Texas shall, except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services, minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.
Full details here: https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/EO-GA-14_Statewide_Essential_Service_and_Activity_COVID-19_IMAGE_03-31-2020.pdf

Type of Justification: Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee
Evidence/Justification: Executive Order GA-08 is subject to expiration at 11:59 p.m. on April 3, 2020, absent further action by the governor; and on March 29, 2020, to avoid scenarios that could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths, the President announced that, based on advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, the restrictive social-distancing Guidelines should extend through April 30, 2020; and DSHS Commissioner Dr. Hellerstedt and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Birx say that the spread of COVID- 19 can be reduced by minimizing social gatherings;, and on March 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, Version 2.0, which provides an advisory list of critical-infrastructure sectors, workers, and functions that should continue during the COVID-19 response; and for state agencies and their employees and agents, the Office of the Attorney General of Texas has advised that local restrictions issued in response to the COVD- 19 disaster do not apply to restrict the conduct of state business; and all government entities and businesses should be allowed to continue providing essential services during the COVID-19 disaster, and all critical infrastructure should be allowed to remain operational; and the “governor is responsible for meeting . . . the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” under Section 418.011 of the Texas Government Code, and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility.