Orange County makes Emergency Declaration effective Tuesday morning

Published 8:14 am Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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In conjunction with the National Emergency Declaration issued by President Donald J. Trump, the State of Emergency for all 254 Texas Counties as declared by Governor Greg Abbot on March 13, 2020, and the Disaster Declaration issued by Orange County Judge John H. Gothia on March 17, 2020, I, the duly elected County Judge of Orange County, Texas do hereby issue the following ORDER REGARDING THE OCCUPANCY OF PREMISES THROUGHOUT ORANGE COUNTY, TEXAS, INCLUDING WITHIN ALL INCORPORATED MUNICIPALITIES:

By the authority granted me pursuant to Texas Government Code, Chapter 418, a Disaster Declaration has been issued effective March 17, 2020. Additionally, pursuant to Texas Government Code, Section 418.108(d)(g), I hereby issue the following Orders:

1) Any event sponsored or permitted by Orange County shall cease effective immediately.

2) Events greater than 50 persons shall cease at all locations throughout Orange County.

3) Nursing homes and senior living centers shall limit visitation of the public
within their facilities.

4) It is hereby ORDERED that a twenty-four (24) hour curfew shall be in place immediately throughout Orange County for all individuals who:

a. are under the age of 18,

b. are not in school,

c. are not accompanied by school personnel, a parent or guardian, or

d. are not going directly to their place of employment or going directly home from that place of employment.

5) This Order does not apply to special needs students during the times local school districts are required by federal law to provide services to those.

WHEREAS, this state of disaster requires that certain emergency measures be taken pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act of 1975 relating to Emergency Management; It is therefore Ordered that the following regulations shall take effect immediately upon execution of this Order and shall remain in effect until the state of disaster is terminated or this Order may be amended:


A person shall not sell any of the following goods or services for more than the price the person charged for the goods or services prior to March 12, 2020:

a. groceries, beverages, toilet articles, ice;

b. construction and building materials and supplies and earthmoving equipment and machinery;

c. electrical and gas generating and transmission equipment, parts and accessories;

d. charcoal briquettes, matches, candles, lamp illumination and heat unit carbides, dry batteries, light bulbs, flashlights, and hand lanterns;

e. hand tools (manual and power), hardware and household supplies, and equipment rental;

f. automotive parts, supplies and accessories; g. plumbing and electrical tools and supplies;

h. apartment, duplex, multi-family dwelling, rooming house, hotel and motel rental;

i. gasoline, diesel oil, motor oil, kerosene, grease, and automotive lubricants;

j. restaurant, cafeteria and boarding house meals;

k. services of roofing and building contractors, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, tree surgeons, and automobile wrecker companies;

I. medicine, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and supplies;

m. blankets, quilts, bedspreads, bed liners, mattresses, bedsprings, bedsheets, bedsteads, towels and toilet paper; and

n. furniture and clothing.


These price control regulations shall have the effect of ordinances when duly filed with the County Clerk.

Any person who violates any provision of these regulations, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine of not more than $500.00 (Five hundred dollars) per offense.


The following recommendations are made in order to preserve, protect and defend the life and safety of all citizens of Orange County:

a) All non-essential travel should be suspended.

b) Conduct all business electronically or via telephone to the greatest extent possible.

c) Although this Order specifies no events with greater than 50 persons, it is recommended to keep all gatherings to less than 10 people.

d) Practice Social Distancing (The practice of limiting contact to prevent the spread of infection or disease). Avoid:

a. group gatherings

b. malls and stores

c. sporting events

d. gym workouts

e. concerts

f. sleepovers and play dates

g. movie theaters

h. restaurants and bars

i. cruise / air travel

j. visitors to your home

k. indoor play spaces

e) Practice thorough self-hygiene

a. cover coughs/sneezes

b. do not touch your face

c. stop handshaking – use other non-contact methods of greeting

d. clean hands properly and schedule regular handwashing routines

e. promote tap and pay to limit handling of cash

f. disinfect surfaces often (doorknobs, tables, desk, handrails)

g. increase ventilation by opening windows and adjusting air conditioning


This Order does NOT extend to law enforcement activities and/or emergency response operations of Orange County or any Incorporated City within Orange County.

All Orange County Employees must report for work as required by their supervisors.

All work related travel of County employees shall cease. The Mayor of each City within Orange County shall determine the scope of operations of municipal employees.

This order shall become effective at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and extend for a duration of 30 days, and may be extended or amended as necessary.