T. Maxwell Smith, PLLC
Understanding Texas State and Local COVID-19 Orders
Updated: Sep 11, 2020
This is a running article that will be updated as necessary and in conjunction with the progression of the COVID-19 virus.
COVID-19 has affected almost every person in Tarrant County in one way or another and, although we are all hopeful that is will subside soon, there have been rule set in place by state / local governments as well as private businesses that must be complied with as long as state and local disaster orders remain in effect.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been frustrating and confusing to millions of Texans and one of the primary reasons for this is the sheer volume of orders and declarations that have been enacted by the many different governing bodies in the state. The virus has created many pressing situations for people to deal with and sitting down at the computer to research the jurisdictional structure of the State of Texas just isn't going to be at the top of most people's to-do list. Because of this I have attempted to briefly explain what orders generally apply to you and to put together a list of resources to help find those orders.
What Order Applies to Me?:
In Texas, any Federal Mandate, Statewide Order, Countywide Order, or Municipal Order will apply to you. This means that, if you live, work, or travel to any of these jurisdictions, you should be conscious of any COVID-19 orders passed by these bodies. This may seem obvious, but the point is that just because you are in a city, and you fully comply with the order of that city, that does not mean that there could not be a more restrictive county order that still applies to you and your family.
Additionally, be sure to be familiar with the most current version of the order. Occasionally orders will change and be updated rapidly and this has been another cause of confusion.
Lets take an example: Lets say that Jim lives in Weatherford, Texas and works in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. There will be a number of orders that Jim should know. When he is at home, he will be under the State of Texas order, the county order of Parker County, and the city order of Weatherford. When he is at work, he will be under the State of Texas order, the county order of Tarrant County, and the city order of Fort Worth.
Furthermore, private property owners have the right to require certain things such as masks, and they have the right to have you removed from their property is you fail to comply. This means that in places of business, you are required to comply with reasonable COVID-19 requests.
Take a look at the links below for more information on disaster orders and declarations:
State of Texas Disaster Orders and Guidance:
This list comes from the Texas Municipal League and it covers the State of Texas Disaster Orders / Declarations running from March 19, 2020 through today :
Federal Executive Orders from 2020 (not all COVID-19 related):
The Federal Register / National Archives has a chronological list of all Federal Executive Orders from 2020.
Tarrant County COVID-19 Information:
The Tarrant County website contains information relating to COVID-19 Declarations of Local Disaster and Tarrant County Executive Orders as well as other information.
Fort Worth COVID-19 Information
The City of Fort Worth website contains information relating to COVID-19 City of Fort Worth Executive Orders, Governor's Orders, and Mask Mandates as well as other information.
Cities of Tarrant County:
North Richland Hills
Parker County COVID-19 Information:
The Parker County website contains information relating to COVID-19 Parker County Executive Orders as well as other information.
Weatherford COVID-19 Information
The City of Weatherford website contains information relating to COVID-19 City of Weatherford Executive Orders as well as other information.
Johnson County COVID-19 Information:
The Johnson County website contains information relating to COVID-19 Johnson County Executive Orders as well as other information.
Cleburne COVID-19 Information
The City of Cleburne website contains information relating to COVID-19 City of Cleburne Executive Orders as well as other information.
Dallas County COVID-19 Information:
The Dallas County website contains information relating to COVID-19 Declarations of Local Disaster and Dallas County Executive Orders as well as other information.
City of Dallas COVID-19 Information
The City of Dallas website contains information relating to COVID-19 City of Dallas Executive Orders, Governor's Orders, and Mask Mandates as well as other information.
This resource list will be updated periodically, but its primary purpose is to help to give people a general understanding of Executive and Disaster Orders and how they will be affected by them in their everyday lives. Hopefully after reading this article and reviewing these resources, even if I haven't covered your specific city or county, you will have a better understanding of the nature of the orders and how to find the orders that affect you and your family.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 or any other issue feel free to give my office a call at (817) 475-5522.
Photo Credit: Jessica Quigley