JUDGE: Important features of the Shelter in Place order
On Monday, April 6, 2020, the Milam County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to continue with a shelter in place order for Milam County.
The order will remain in effect until May 4, 2020, unless the infection rate is substantially lowered.
The new order is similar to the previous order and is compliant with Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-14.
Some of the more important features of the article are as follows:
1. Social gatherings are generally prohibited: “All public and private gatherings of any number of persons occurring outside a household or living unit are prohibited except for Essential Services, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Travel or Essential Activities.”
2. Child Custody Orders: The shelter in place order does not affect child custody orders in any way. Thus, visitation requirements nor child support payments are unchanged by the order.
3. Wearing Face Masks: The new order does not require but urges every citizen to cover their nose and mouth while out in public. This clearly helps prevent the spread of the virus. If a face mask is not available, a handkerchief will do.
4. Restaurants: Restaurants are allowed to sell food, but only to go orders. Do not go in the facility to order or pick up your food. These gatherings are how the virus is spread.
5. Church Services: In person church services are prohibited if remote services are unavailable. The Governor’s Executive Order and the Milam County Order provide: “If religious services cannot be conducted from home or through remote services, they should be conducted consistent with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC by practicing good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation, and by implementing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” However, a parking lot service where the attendees stay in their cars is allowed, per the Governor.
6. Nursing Homes: The new order prohibits visits to nursing homes by the public: “people shall not visit nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.”
7. Curfew: The 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew for those 18 years of age or younger remains in effect. There are two exceptions: when accompanied by a parent/guardian or engaged in bonafide employment.
The entire order is posted on the Milam County web page for your viewing information. Additionally, I am happy to answer any questions about the application of the order.
For your protection and for the protection of your family, friends and neighbors, please adhere to the order! It is intended to protect your health and safety during this crisis.