The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, March 18 – Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough issued an amended business occupancy order this afternoon in which he ordered:
- Restaurants may not have onsite dining operations, but may have takeout and delivery dining; and
- Gyms, movie theaters, amusement operations, clubs, and bars must cease operations.
The order became effective immediately and will continue through April 2, 2020, unless Judge Keough terminates or modifies it.
A copy of Judge Keough’s Amended Order follows:
AMENDED ORDER AFFECTING THE OCCUPANCY OF PREMISES THROUGHOUT MONTGOMERY COUNTY
(March 18, 2020)
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, Montgomery County Judge Mark J. Keough signed an amended order affecting the occupancy of premises throughout Montgomery County; and
WHEREAS, said order went into effect at 5:00 p.m. on March 16, 2020.
WHEREAS, a local disaster declaration was declared on March 12, 2020, ratified and extended for 30 days by a duly called Emergency Meeting of Commissioners Court on the same day, and both the State of Texas and Federal disaster declarations were issued on March 13, 2020; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 virus is contagious and spreads through person-to-person contact, especially in group settings; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance to all Americans, requesting gatherings of 10 persons or more to cease for the fifteen (15) days; and
WHEREAS, an emerging public health emergency does currently exist and is expected to worsen, where Montgomery County desires to slow down and prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout Montgomery County; and
WHEREAS, Montgomery County urges residents of the county to follow the guidance of the CDC and immediately begin social distancing; and
WHEREAS, Montgomery County urges private businesses to adhere to the CDC guidelines and begin to implement social distancing within their organizations where possible; and
NOW THEREFORE, I, MARK J. KEOUGH, COUNTY JUDGE OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED BY TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 418, HEREBY AMEND AND ORDER:
Effective as of 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 18, 2020 and continuing until April 2, 2020, unless terminated or modified by an order, the County Judge of Montgomery County, Texas, deems it in the public interest to issue the following order(s):
1) All restaurants shall cease all onsite dining operations.
2) All restaurants may continue to-go, takeout, delivery, and catering operations.
3) Restaurants shall not allow any employee to report to work who is demonstrating signs of any form of sickness.
· Strict handwashing and sanitizing operations must be deployed.
4) All bars or clubs shall cease operations.
5) Gyms, movie theaters, or amusement type businesses shall cease operations.
6) Any event sponsored or permitted by a political subdivision in Montgomery County shall cease.
7) Events greater than 10 persons at all publicly held facilities across Montgomery County shall cease.
8) Any event greater than 10 persons held at private facilities is urged to cancel.
9) Nursing homes and senior living centers should limit visitation of the public within their facilities.
10) Retail stores, private businesses, clubs or civic organizations and religious organizations to include churches, synagogues, mosques or other places of worship are urged to comply with the CDC guidelines related to 10 persons gathering in any one place or at one time.
11) Retail stores who sell groceries or medical supplies are exempt from this order.
THIS ORDER SUPERSEDES ANY PREVIOUS ORDER RELATED TO THE OCCUPANCY OF A PREMISE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TEXAS.
Pursuant to Chapter 418, Sec. 418.173 Texas Government Code, any violation of this order constitutes an offense committed under this statute and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 dollars or confinement in jail for a term no greater than 180 days.
This order does NOT extend to law enforcement activities, emergency responses, and court operations or grand jury operations.
All Montgomery County Employees should report to work as directed by their Department Head or Elected Department Head.
Effective immediately and through the duration of this order, all Montgomery County employees shall cease any work related travel.