Beginning on April 2, the City of Allen will begin enforcing a new Executive Order put in place by Governor Greg Abbott which includes clear definitions of essential businesses and directs all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household through April 30.
Because this statewide Executive Order is more restrictive than city or county Emergency Orders, previous local orders impacting Allen and Collin County cannot remain in effect.
Governor Abbott said “shelter in place” and “stay at home” are not proper terms to use, as they imply people should not leave their homes or current locations for any reason. Instead, these “restrictive social distancing” protocols allow essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.
Examples of these essential services include healthcare, grocery stores, banking and financial services, utilities, child care for essential service employees and government services. A full list of essential activities is below, with complete definitions available from the Department of Homeland Security:
In accordance with federal guidelines, people are still prohibited from visiting nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance. Additionally, schools will remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance through May 4.
The use of drive-thru, pickup and delivery options for food and drinks is still permitted. Gyms, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios and cosmetology salons are not considered essential services under this Executive Order.
This Executive Order does not prohibit people from accessing essential services or engaging in essential daily activities, such as going to the grocery store or gas station, providing or obtaining other essential services, hunting or fishing, or engaging in physical activity like jogging or bicycling, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.
The order also includes exemption for religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and houses of worship. However, if religious services cannot be conducted from home or through remote services, they should be conducted consistent with the Guidelines from the President (available at whitehouse.gov) and the CDC (available at cdc.gov) by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, and by implementing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
More information about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Allen.