Dear Friends,


Our community continues to rally together like we always do. It's incredible to see neighbors and residents helping one another. Our doctors, nurses and first responders continue giving their all to answer questions, help test for COVID-19 and take care of patients. Grocery store workers and delivery teams are also helping people get the necessities they need during this time. Every single Harris County resident is assisting in slowing the progression of COVID-19. Thank you! We also sincerely appreciate the leadership of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo who continues to make the best decisions for our community daily.

On March 24, Judge Hidalgo issued a countywide "Stay Home, Work Safe" Order effective March 24 through April 3. Due to the risk of spreading the virus and the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, this Order requires all individuals anywhere in Harris County, to stay at home - except for certain Essential Activities and work to provide Essential Business and Essential Government services or perform essential infrastructure construction, including housing.


These are unique times and we know there is concern about how this order will affect your livelihood and our community as a whole. We've heard from some of you about the need for more information around defining essential activities and businesses, so we have listed the information below.  


I want to emphasize that these decisions are not easy to make but they are necessary in an attempt to slow the progression of Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout our community.


Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following "Essential Activities":

  • To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (for example, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a healthcare professional, or obtaining supplies needed to work from home).
  • To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others (for example, food, pet supplies, and any other household consumer products, supplies needed to work from home, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences).
  • To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social distancing requirements of six feet (for example, walking, biking, hiking, running, or fishing).
  • To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order.
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household. 

"Essential Businesses" include: 

  • Essential Critical Infrastructure
    Work necessary to the operations and maintenance of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with social distancing requirements of six feet to the extent possible. Essential Businesses providing essential infrastructure should implement screening precautions to protect employees and all activities shall be performed in compliance with social distancing guidelines.
  • Essential Government Functions
    All services provided by local governments and municipalities located in Harris County needed to ensure their continuing operation to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public, including law enforcement, jail operations and other services. Further, nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing "Essential Government Functions". All Essential Government Functions shall be performed in compliance with social distancing requirements of six feet to the extent possible.
  • Essential City of Houston Government Functions

All services provided by the City of Houston that the Mayor of the City of Houston determines to be essential Government Functions.Further, nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing "Essential Government Functions". All Essential Government Functions shall be performed in compliance with social distancing requirements of six feet to the extent possible.

  • Essential Healthcare Operations
    Healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, mental health providers, substance abuse service providers, blood banks, medical research, laboratory services, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. Home-based and residential-based care for seniors, adults, or children are also considered healthcare operations. Healthcare operations also include veterinary care and all health and welfare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be viewed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare.
  • Essential Retail
    Food producers and service providers, including grocery stores, warehouse stores, furniture suppliers, big box stores, bodegas, liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores, farmers' markets that sell food products and household staples. Food cultivation, including farming, ranching, fishing, and livestock. Food production, including the production of canned goods, bottled beverages and other grocery items. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery, drive-thru or carry-out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free services to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. The restriction of delivery or carry-out does not apply to cafes and restaurants located within hospital and medical facilities. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers. Gas stations, auto supply, auto and bicycle repair, hardware stores, and related facilities. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.
  • Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations

Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.

  • Essential Services Necessary to Maintain Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses

Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal, mail and shipping services, building cleaning, maintenance and security, warehouse/distribution and fulfillment, storage for essential businesses, funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, yard and maintenance crews, housekeepers, janitorial staff, pool cleaners and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences and Essential Businesses. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities. Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses with support or utilities needed to operate. Caregivers and helpers who provide services to seniors and disabled individuals.

  • News Media

Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.

  • Childcare and Adult Care Services

Childcare and adult care facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted.

  • Infrastructure, Development, Operation and Construction

For example, public works construction, construction of housing or other types of construction including commercial, manufacturing, airport operations and aircraft manufacturing, maintenance or repair, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

  • Transportation
    Businesses related to the operation, maintenance, construction, and manufacture of transportation services. For example, (a) vehicle manufacturers, automotive suppliers and parts departments, car dealerships, parts distributors, maintenance and repair facilities; (b) public transportation; (c) businesses supporting airport operations; (d)street and highway maintenance and construction; (e) gas stations and other fuel distribution businesses; (f) vehicles for hire, including public transportation services, Uber, Lyft, and taxicabs, that enable persons to travel to or from employers, service providers, or businesses exempted in this Order. People riding on public transit must comply with the six-foot social distancing requirements to the greatest extent feasible.
  • Labor Unions
    Critical labor union functions, including the maintenance of health and welfare funds and checking on the well-being and safety of members.
  • NASA and Port of Houston
    Activities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Port of Houston.
  • Airports and related operations
    Airport and airline activities, operations, maintenance and repairs, and the hotels that serve these Essential Businesses.
  • Professional services
    Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, insurances services, and "real estate services" when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities or to further Essential Businesses, Essential Government functions, or Critical Infrastructure.

Also on March 24, 2020, the Harris County Commissioners Court approved to extend Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency until April 29, 2020. This declaration gives Judge Hidalgo the ability to respond quickly to community needs as we continue to curb the spread.


Our commitment to keeping residents safe and healthy remains constant. Questions about the order can be submitted to You can find the full order here


RE Signature 


Rodney Ellis