July 10, 2020

Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-29 on July 2. The order states that every person in Texas in applicable counties must wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when:

  • Inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public.
  • In an outdoor public space, where it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.

The face covering requirement does not apply to any person:

  • Younger than 10 years of age.
  • With a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.
  • Consuming food or drink.
  • Exercising or engaging in outdoor physical activity while maintaining a safe distance from people not in the same household.
  • In a swimming pool or similar body of water.
  • In a county listed on the TDEM website where the county judge has opted out of this face covering requirement.

For child day care operations in counties where Executive Order GA-29 does not apply, you must still follow all requirements in HHSC’s emergency rules.

HHSC’s emergency rules (PDF) require you to operate following the CDC Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open. You should address this additional consideration and strategy pertaining to face coverings:

  • When feasible, staff members and older children should wear face coverings within the facility. Cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies and children under age two because of the danger of suffocation.

In addition, the Open Texas Checklist was updated on July 2 with new recommendations. Interpret and implement the checklist’s recommended guidelines based on public health information to protect children in care as well as staff and their families from the spread of COVID-19.

Because of the hidden nature of COVID-19, operations should follow the practices specified in the checklist whenever possible to facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas.