Today, September 17, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-30, related to the continued response to the COVID-19 disaster as Texas reopens (the “Order”). Among other things, the Order increases the maximum allowable capacity for certain businesses and facilities from 50% to 75%. These include offices, gyms, retail establishments, restaurants, museums, libraries, and manufacturers. All other businesses and facilities that were limited to 50% capacity by Executive Order GA-28, issued June 26, 2020, remain limited to 50% capacity. This includes swimming pools and water parks.
It should be noted that the expansion from 50% capacity to 75% capacity does not apply to businesses and facilities located in certain designated “areas with high hospitalizations.” This is defined to include “any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients exceed 15%, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospitalized patients is 15% or less.” As of the date of the Order, this includes only three regions: the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and Victoria.
The Order does not rescind or amend the current requirement that individuals wear a face covering when inside a commercial entity, or other building or outdoor space open to the public, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distance from anyone who is not a member of the individual’s household. This means that, while offices and other facilities may be permitted to have more people present on-site, all individuals must wear a face covering if they are within six feet of another individual. Employers should remain open to requests from employees to work remotely to the extent that remote work will not interfere with the needs of the business.
Finally, the Order provides that most outdoor gatherings will continue to be limited to 10 people, unless the mayor of the city (or county judge, in the case of an unincorporated area) in which the gathering is to be held has approved a larger gathering.
If you have questions regarding the current Executive Orders, please check with your attorney.
 Exceptions include recreational sports programs, religious services, youth camps, and child-care services, among others.