On July 1, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott extended the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration in response to the uptick of COVID-19 cases within the state.
In keeping with the disaster declaration extension, Abbott revised his previous executive orders for the state.
However, unlike previous revisions, GA-38 aims to keep the state open for business and restricts any local government entities from interfering with state businesses no matter the area’s active COVID cases.
“WHEREAS, from March 2020 through May 2021, I issued a series of executive orders aimed at protecting the health and safety of Texans, ensuring uniformity throughout Texas, and achieving the least restrictive means of combatting the evolving threat to public health by adjusting social-distancing and other mitigation strategies,” Executive Order GA-38 said.
Abbott encourages Texans to continue to practice good hygiene practices and social distancing, but restricts any government entity, including school district’s from requiring masks for staff and/or students.
State medical facilities and Texas Department of Justice branches as defined under GA-38 are exempt from this, and may appropriate policies requiring facial coverings.
“No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering,” read the order.
The order does encourage Texans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and the order guarantees that governing bodies, public or businesses, other than excused medical facilities, cannot require staff or the public to receive it or ask for proof of vaccination.
Wharton County COVID-19 Updates
So how does Executive Order GA-38 reflect on Wharton County?
Wharton County schools will begin this month with no limitations on staff and students.
The Wharton County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and city OEMs continue to push vaccination opportunities, and provided current active case numbers and hospitalization rates for the county.
“We are seeing a serious uptick in COVID cases in Texas, as well as in our area,” Wharton County OEM said.
“Since our last reporting on July 1, Wharton County has added 150 cases, with 76 active cases as of today. We had 3 active cases on July 8. According to DSHS we have, sadly, also had four more fatalities over the month.”
“The hospitalization rate for our area (TSA “Q”) is at 10.94% (On July 1 it was 2.77%) In the past week, 582 people in the “Q” area have been hospitalized with COVID. That’s a 60% jump in 7 days.”
Wharton County OEM continued, “the message continues to be that vaccination if the safest and most effective intervention for this disease. Please consider being vaccinated ASAP.”
The offices assures that plenty of vaccines are available at the various pharmacies in Wharton County.
Pfizer is available for those 12 and older, and Moderna for those 18 and older.
For more information concerning COVID-19 vaccinations and to keep informed with Wharton County COVID-19 protocol, visit the Wharton County Office of Emergency Management on Facebook, or contact the office by phone at 979-532-1123.