Harris County Orders Health and Safety Policies for Commercial Entities and Face Coverings

June 22, 2020 | Insights

By Lionel Schooler, Brooke Leondar, & Kate Goodrich

Following the lead of Bexar County and others around the state, County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a new order on Friday, June 19, 2020, aimed at helping contain the spread of COVID-19. This order directs any businesses providing goods or services to require all employees and visitors to wear face coverings in areas of close proximity to coworkers or the public. Masks are required for any person aged 10 or older, though the CDC recommends masks for any person over the age of two.

The order also requires that commercial entities must develop a health and safety policy to be posted in a location conspicuous enough to provide sufficient notice to employees and visitors of the business’ safety requirements. Failure to develop and implement a policy within five days of the effective date of this order could result in a fine of up to $1,000 per violation.

The Harris County order became effective at 12:01 A.M., today, June 22nd. It is set to expire on June 30th, the same day the disaster declaration expires, but both could be extended or terminated early.

Jackson Walker’s COVID-19 Task Force stands ready to assist any commercial entity with development of the Health and Safety Policy required by Harris County’s order and has developed a model notice based on the minimum requirements of the order. For further information about how this order may affect your business, to discuss developing a comprehensive health and safety plan, or for other Coronavirus-related assistance, please contact Brad NitschkeGary Fowler, or any member of Jackson Walker’s Labor & Employment group.

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Please note: This article and any resources presented on the Jackson Walker Coronavirus microsite do not constitute legal or medical advice.

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Kate Goodrich
Governmental Affairs Consultant, Austin