Gov. Greg Abbott has announced a series of executive orders relating to COVID-19 preparedness and mitigation, he said in a press release from his Governor’s Office on Thursday, March 19. 

The four orders serve to limit public gatherings and help reduce exposure for people across the state. These orders are in accordance with federal guidelines issued by President Donald Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and will aid in the state’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The following orders have been issued by Gov. Abbott:

• Order No. 1: In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.

• Order No. 2: In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.

• Order No. 3: In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

• Order No. 4: In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

These orders were made effective on a statewide basis starting at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 20 and will end at 11:59 p.m. on April 3, subject to extension based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC.

This executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. 

This executive order does not mandate sheltering in place. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, domestic travel will remain unrestricted, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services. 

According to the press release, for offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVID-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this executive order will expire, the press release said.

Wharton County and three municipalities, including East Bernard, El Campo and Wharton, continues to monitor the situation for the safety of all their citizens.

City of Wharton leaders remind residents to sign up for the emergency alert system to keep you better informed of emergency situations, city-related issues and notifications. 

The signup for the system can be found on the City of Wharton website at by clicking the Sign Up for Smart911 button. 


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