Harris County stay-at-home order extended, despite state preemption

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Thursday announced the extension of the county’s stay-at-home order, even as Gov. Greg Abbott lifted such restrictions in the state and superseded most local directives.

Hidalgo said the extended order, set to be signed Thursday afternoon, is meant to be a reminder that Houston is not out of the woods when it comes to COVID-19. The language of the order would be revised to abide with Abbott’s executive orders, which allow for the partial reopening of restaurants, bars, daycares and other businesses that were closed by the county.

“We don’t want people to say, I’m sick of it, I’m going back out there,” Hidalgo said about her decision to extend the order. “We will have an outbreak…We’ll have to use the blunt tool of closing things down again, and that’s the last thing I want.”

“There’s still no treatment, there’s still no cure, there’s still no vaccine,” she said.

The news came during a press conference in which Hidalgo announced the county had surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases, and more than 200 deaths.

The county also unveiled new guidelines for worker protections in construction and retail, which include screenings for symptoms, routine disinfecting, and staggering shifts.