Fort Bend County extends and adds restrictions to COVID-19 disaster declaration

By R. HANS MILLER | TIMES SENIOR REPORTER
Posted 3/21/20

Fort Bend County Judge KP George has issued an amended disaster declaration which updates the expiration from March 31 to Apr. 3. The declaration also adds additional restrictions for certain types …

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Fort Bend County extends and adds restrictions to COVID-19 disaster declaration

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Fort Bend County Judge KP George has issued an amended disaster declaration which updates the expiration from March 31 to Apr. 3. The declaration also adds additional restrictions for certain types of businesses.

“We must slow the spread of COVID-19 to make sure our limited [Intensive Care Unit] facilities in the region do not get overwhelmed. We also cannot risk our medical staff or first responders getting infected. That is why, after the Governor’s Executive Order, I issued an updated Order in Fort Bend County to ensure more social distancing – the only known tool to fight community spread of COVID19,” George said in an email that accompanied the new order.

Restrictions remain in place for restaurants to only serve food via drive-through, curbside pickup and delivery and bars and night clubs remain closed.

Additional restrictions are now in place for hair and nail salons, spas, massage and tattoo parlors, movie theaters, game rooms and bingo halls which are all ordered to close. Gyms, fitness centers and similar businesses such as martial arts dojos are also required to close, according to the order.

Access to Fort Bend County offices are also being limited to only those with essential needs such as those with court obligations or required payments. Those with such obligations are asked to visit the Fort Bend County website to request prior authorization prior to showing up.

Fort Bend County is reporting a total of 29 cases of the disease, including four patients that have recovered. Seven cases are still being investigated as to whether or not they were travel related. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer doing confirmatory tests, according to the county’s website. Positive tests COVID-19 are confirmed cases rather than presumptive positive cases at this time.

“Community spread is occurring throughout the Houston region, including Fort Bend County. Community members need to follow the social distancing ordinances issued by local, regional, and state leaders seriously. They are in place to help keep our residents safe and to minimize the impact on our healthcare system,” said Fort Bend County Health & Human Services Director and Local Health Authority Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson Minter. “If you are not sick, you do not need to be tested.”

Correction: There are 29 cases of COVID-19 in Fort Bend County as of March 21.

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