COVID-19 Update

Jul 7, 2020

On 3 July 2020, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott imposed a statewide order mandating the use of face masks at all times in public places amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases in the state. Until further notice, the order applies to Texas counties with 20 or more confirmed cases; a list of counties exempt from the order is available here. First-time violators face a warning and a fine of 250 U.S. dollars for each subsequent violation. Limited exemptions exist for children under 10 years of age, residents with medical conditions, persons driving in a private vehicle alone or with members of their household, as well as other specified situations, including when seated at a restaurant or otherwise consuming food. The text of the order is available here.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Illinois, an emergency order requires travelers to the city from 15 U.S. states that are “experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases” to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The requirement applies to visitors from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

In the state of Florida, a countywide nightly curfew from 2200 to 0600 local time (0200 to 1000 UTC) is in effect in Miami-Dade County — where the city of Miami is located — until further notice. During curfew hours, residents must stay in their homes and restrict outside travel to essential activities. Essential personnel, such as first responders and health care workers, are exempt from the curfew. In addition, the scheduled reopening of public venues — including entertainment facilities, concert halls and other similar establishments — will be delayed for an indeterminate period. Public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, and residents engaging in social activities must wear face masks at all times and practice social distancing of at least 6 ft (2 m).

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has announced plans to implement coronavirus-related restrictions statewide, including a directive prohibiting businesses from serving customers not wearing a face mask or not complying with other restrictions. The new regulations are scheduled to go into effect on 7 July. In addition, the governor imposed a two-week pause on the state’s four-phase plan to resume economic activities.

In the state of Ohio, officials in the city of Cincinnati passed a city ordinance requiring individuals to wear face masks in all indoor public facilities, including grocery stores, restaurants and retail establishments. The ordinance specifies that the mask must cover the nose and mouth and that the city’s health department will issue fines of up to 25 U.S. dollars for violating the law. Additionally, the mayor of Cleveland signed an order requiring residents to wear face coverings in public places, such as businesses and restaurants. The mayor’s order also sets the maximum capacity for restaurants and bars at 50% of occupancy. Gatherings of more than 10 individuals are banned.

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