Angelina County has issued a stay-home, stay-safe order that takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Friday. The order requires all non-essential businesses to cease all activities (unless the work can be done by an employee at home) and establishes a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The penalty for violating the order is a $1,000 fine and/or 180 days in the county jail.

The order says essential businesses include:

Health care
Food and agriculture operations
Home-based care for seniors, adults and children
Animal care
Mortuary services
Government functions
Critical infrastructure
Public safety operations
Essential retail
Essential services to maintain operations of residences or essential businesses
Professional services such as legal, accounting, insurance services, etc.
News media
Childcare services
Social services
Education and research

The order requires all essential businesses to screen for COVID-19 symptoms at the beginning of the workday. Businesses open to the public must limit the number of people allowed in at one time, must develop a written plan for enforcement and must also institute regular cleanings of high-touch surfaces.

Section 2 of the order requires all people being tested, or who are under investigation or considered positive for COVID-19, to isolate themselves until either a negative test returns, they are released by a medical doctor, or there is no longer an active investigation. The order requires all public health care providers and authorities to give local emergency management officials information necessary to ensure that first responders and local residents are kept safe. This means that within four hours of a person having tested positive or having a suspected positive case, a report shall be made to the Angelina County Emergency Management Operations Center. This information should include the person’s name, address, age, current location and information regarding their travel outside of the county.

The order also:

■ Prohibits public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household.
■ All restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-thru options are only allowed to provide take-out, delivery or drive-thru services.
■ All religious and worship services can be provided by remote audio, video or teleconference mediums. Preparations for those cannot rely on more than 10 asymptomatic people.
■ Parking lot services with attendees remaining in their vehicles, parked in every other parking spot are allowed. Communion or a blessing are allowed only through drive-up or drive-thru services.
■ Prohibits all elective medical, surgical and dental procedures.
■ Funeral services can only be conducted graveside and are restricted to immediate, asymptomatic family members. Social distancing of six or more feet is to be maintained.
■ All travel is prohibited except for going to work in an essential business or for essential activities. Those traveling for work must have a letter of documentation from their employer.

Essential activities are defined as:

■ Engaging or performing tasks essential to one’s health and safety or for the health and safety of family or household members.
■ To obtain necessary services or supplies for an individual, household or family, or to deliver those supplies to another person in need.
■ Outdoor activities, provided social distancing requirements are followed.
■ To care for another family member or pet in another household.
■ To conduct school-related activities.

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