19 March 2020 – Social gatherings limited to ten people, directive to avoid eating and drinking at public establishments, schools closed

Type of Intervention: Executive Order
Sectors Involved: Civil Defence, Health
Level of Jurisdiction: TX
Lead People/Agency: Gregg Abbott

Overview: Gregg Abbott issued an executive order to mitigate spread of COVID-19 in Texas, specifically noting that every person in Texas shall avoid social gathering in groups of more than 10 people, avoid eating or drinking at public establishments, prohibiting nursing home visits, and temporary closure of schools
Full details here: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-orders-to-mitigate-spread-of-covid-19-in-texas

Type of Justification: Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee, Perception of an increased threat
Evidence/Justification: The novel coronavirus (COVD-19) has been recognized globally as a contagious respiratory virus; and continues to spread and to pose an increasing, imminent threat of disaster throughout Texas; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that person-to-person contact heightens the risk of COVID-19 transmission; and the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, as promulgated by President Donald J. Trump and the CDC on March 16, 2020, call upon Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people, using drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options at restaurants and bars, and avoiding visitation at nursing homes, among other steps; and the Texas Department of State Health Services has now determined that, as of March 19, 2020, COVID- 19 represents a public health disaster within the meaning of Chapter 81 of the Texas Health and Safety Code; and under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, “[t]he governor is responsible for meeting . . . the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” (Section 418.001 of the Texas Government Code), and the legislature has given the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility.