ORDER NO. 13
BY THE COUNTY JUDGE OF EL PASO COUNTY, TEXAS
STAY AT HOME/STAY SAFE ORDER
DATE ORDER ISSUED: OCTOBER 29, 2020
WHEREAS, in December 2019, a novel coronavirus now designated SARS-CoV-2 which
causes the disease COVID-19 was identified; and
WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and
can range from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness
resulting in death; and
WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized COVID19 as a pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the Governor of the State of Texas declared a state of
disaster, the President of the United States of America declared a national emergency and the El Paso County Judge issued a Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 418.108; and
WHEREAS, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health Authority has issued various
COVID-19 Prevention Orders in an effort to mitigate and slow down the spread of disease in El Paso County; and
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, President Donald Trump acknowledged the gravity of
the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing strict new guidelines to limit people’s interactions, including that Americans should avoid groups of more than 10 people, and;
WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott and El Paso County Judge
Ricardo A. Samaniego each issued declarations of disaster pursuant to Chapter 418, Texas
Government Code, in order to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, on March 19, 2020, the El Paso County Commissioners Court issued an
Emergency Order extending the County Judge’s state of disaster and instituting emergency
measures due to a public health emergency until terminated by order of the El Paso County
Commissioners Court; and
WHEREAS, the County Judge’s Emergency Order authorizes the Emergency
Management Director or designee to update, restrict, and promulgate regulations necessary to
comply with Federal, State and Local authorities’ guidance in relation to COVID-19; and
2020 OCT 29 PM 7:34
WHEREAS, pursuant to Texas Government Code § 418.1015(a), the County Judge serves
as the Emergency Management Director for the County of El Paso (the “County”); and
WHEREAS, Texas Government Code, Chapter 418 authorizes the Emergency
Management Director to issue Orders, which are necessary for the protection of life and property in the County; and
WHEREAS, in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, on March 13, 2020
the County Judge issued Local Emergency Orders No.1, No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4; on March 17,
2020 Order No. 5; on March 21, 2020 Order No. 6; on March 24, 2020 Order No. 7; on March 30, 2020 the First Amendment to Order No. 7; on April 29, 2020 Order No. 8; on April 30, 2020 the First Amendment to Order No. 8; on May 7, 2020 the Second Amendment to Order No. 8; on May 21, 2020 the Third Amendment to Order No. 8; on May 28, 2020 the Fourth Amendment to Order No. 8; on June 12 Order No. 9; on June 18 the First Amendment to Order No. 9; on June 29, the Second Amendment to Order No. 9; on June 29 Order No. 10; and on July 2 the Third Amendment to Order No. 9 and; on September 21, 2020 Order No. 11; on October 13 the First Amendment to Order No. 11, on October 16, 2020 the Second Amendment to Order No.11; on October 22, 2020 the Third Amendment to Order No. 11; on October 25, 2020 Order No. 12; and
WHEREAS, both the State of Texas and County of El Paso remain under a state of
disaster, but in the recent week, El Paso County is experiencing a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases, causing a crisis that requires additional consideration and response to stop the catastrophic effects COVID-19 has in the community; and
WHEREAS, Section 418.1015(b) of the Texas Government Code authorizes the
Emergency Management Director to serve as the Governor’s designated agent in the
administration and supervision of duties under Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code and exercise the powers granted to the Governor on an appropriate local scale; and
WHEREAS, a County Judge, serving as the Governor’s designated agent in the
administration and supervision of duties during a state of emergency declared by the Governor, may use state or federal resources without prior authorization from the division or the state or federal agency having responsibility for those resources in accordance with Section 418.1015 of the Texas Government Code; and
WHEREAS, a County Judge, is authorized to control ingress to and egress from a disaster
area and control the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises on an appropriate local scale in accordance with Sections 418.015 and 418.018 of the Texas Government Code; and
WHEREAS, El Paso County’s COVID-19 the positivity rate 7-day rolling average on
October 1, 2020 was at 9.43% and on October 14th was at 11.92%, on October 25, 2020 was at
16.37% and has now increased as of October 29, 2020 to 17.24%, showing an upward trend and nearly a 183% increase in the positivity rate over the past 4 weeks; and
WHEREAS, as of today there are 14,359 active COVID-19 cases in El Paso County; and
WHEREAS, from October 10, 2020 to October 29, 2020 over 14,399 confirmed positive
COVID-19 cases were reported; and
WHEREAS, on October 15, 2020 Governor Abbott, while in El Paso County when
COVID-19 positive cases were far lower than today, stated “local officials do have levels of
flexibility to make sure they are able to contain the spread of COVID-19”; and
WHEREAS, as of October 29, 2020, El Paso County had 7-day average of 133.9 cases per
100,000 population; and
WHEREAS, as of October 29, 2020, El Paso County’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate is
44% and El Paso County’s hospitalization rate has spiked from 8.3% to 44% COVID-19 related
hospitalizations; a 365.2% increase over the last four weeks, which will have a detrimental effect on El Paso’s health system; and
WHEREAS, as of October 29, 2020, El Paso’s hospitalization rate of COVID-19 patients
is almost triple the 15% capacity that the Governor of Texas has identified as a critical metric
which requires consideration of further shutdowns and emergency action; and
WHEREAS, as of October 29, 2020, the capacity of all El Paso County area hospitals has
reached its limits; and
WHEREAS, as October 29, 2020, all El Paso County area hospitals Intensive Care Units
have exceed capacity and hospitals are now forced to establish temporary alternate care sites and airlift patients to other cities and have asked the Governor, through the Texas Department of Emergency Management, for additional alternate care sites to be able to care for El Paso County residents requiring hospitalizations; and
WHEREAS, on October 25, 2020 the El Paso’s Public Health Director, Angela Mora,
issued a stark warning that, “with the surge of hospitalizations, we need the public to understand the strain our local health services and hospitals are going through” and “Moreover, with fewer hospital beds available due to the spike in COVID-19 patients seeking medical attention, this could adversely affect healthcare services for person with everyday non-COVID medical conditions and medical emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes and vehicular accidents”; and
WHEREAS, on October 7, 2020, I requested from Governor Abbott an exemption from
further business openings, specifically to highlight that as a community comprised of 82.9%
Hispanic or Latino, El Paso is experiencing a disproportionate and devastating impact in COVID19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths; and
WHEREAS, as of October 28, 2020 according to the Texas Department of Health Services
data, Hispanics represent 39.7% of all COVID-19 positive cases in Texas and represent 55.7% of
all COVID-19 fatalities in Texas; and
WHEREAS, the State of Texas has provided much needed emergency relief including
personnel, testing and equipment, yet despite the assistance El Paso will continue to experience
unprecedented hardship; and
WHEREAS, on October 22, 2020, I again notified Governor Abbott of the surge of
COVID-19 cases and the strain on our hospital resources which I foreshadowed would necessitate
further action to stop the crisis in our community; and
WHEREAS, County law enforcement, at my urging have dramatically increased efforts
at enforcing the existing Stay Home, Work Safe Order; and
WHEREAS, despite efforts to encourage voluntary compliance, warnings, and
enforcement, El Paso County continues to experience a surge of cases; and
WHEREAS, the El Paso United COVID-19 Transition Taskforce, a taskforce made up of
healthcare community leadership has issued a plea that additional measures be taken to address the state of hospitalizations that are far exceeding surge capacity despite the deployment of resources from the State which will be exhausted and overwhelmed within days; and
WHEREAS, the El Paso United COVID- Transition Taskforce created a scorecard based
on five areas with over fifteen measures to monitor the status of the disease in our community and El Paso County is at Stage 1 which is the worse stage that indicates that maximum protections should be in place for the community; and
WHEREAS, despite the efforts by our community and its leadership and previous efforts
by the State, El Paso County is experiencing higher infectivity and expected increased deaths; and
WHEREAS, as El Paso County’s positive COVID-19 cases are worse today than when
the first Stay at Home Order was issued; and
WHEREAS, as County Judge I will direct County resources to enforce compliance with
NOW THEREFORE, TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 THROUGHOUT
El PASO COUNTY AND TO REDUCE THE INFECTION RATE OF THE PEOPLE
CONSIDERED AT RISK THAT WILL REQUIRE HOSPITILIZATION AND TO LIMIT
DEATH FROM COMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19, I, COUNTY JUDGE FOR EL PASO
COUNTY, TEXAS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED BY TEXAS
GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 418, HEREBY FIND AND ORDER:
SECTION 1. STAY AT HOME OR PLACE OF RESIDENCE
All individuals living within the County of El Paso are ordered to temporarily stay at home or at their place of residence. Effective Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 11:59 PM MDT, unless
terminated or modified by a subsequent Order, the County Judge of El Paso County, Texas, deems it in the public interest to issue this Order, and orders that all individuals currently living in El Paso County, Texas to stay at home or at their place of residence except as allowed by this Order. Unless terminated or modified by a subsequent Order, this Order shall expire on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 11:59 PM MST. For the purposes of this Order, residences include hotels, motels, shared rentals, and similar facilities. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they shall, to the greatest extent feasible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, consistent with the social distancing and face covering requirements.
All persons may leave their residences to participate in Election Activities, which is deemed
an essential service, perform certain Essential Activities, to perform work or operate in an
Essential Business, Essential Governmental Functions, or in Critical Infrastructure, engage
in Essential Travel or Minimum Basic Operations all defined below.
SECTION 2. ELECTION ACTIVITIES ARE AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE AND NOT
AFFECTED BY THIS ORDER
i. Election activities shall be considered an essential function and under no circumstances
does this Order affect the voting or campaigning for candidates on the November 3,
ii. Election activities shall continue to follow Public Health Authority Orders and
Guidelines relating to election activities.
iii. The public should be assured that election activities are safe and significant steps have
been taken to provide a sanitary environment as well as follow all appropriate social
distancing and face covering measures.
iv. ALL POLLING SITES SHALL REMAIN OPEN to continue election activities.
SECTION 3. STAY AT HOME OR PLACE OF RESIDENCE CURFEW
In addition to the MANDATE to STAY AT HOME OR PLACE OF RESIDENCE, a curfew
for all persons shall be imposed from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM, unless that person is out on Essential Travel, performing Essential Activities or going to work in an Essential Business, Government Service or Critical Infrastructure, as defined in this Order.
SECTION 4. NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS AND OPERATIONS MUST CEASE
All businesses or operations with a facility in the County of El Paso, except Essential Businesses as defined in this Order, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the County except Minimum Basic Operations as defined in this Order. For clarity, businesses may continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e. working from home), or providing Retail to Go.
SECTION 5. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES
All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except as otherwise provided in this Order. Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or living unit. Nursing homes, retirement an long-term care facilities shall prohibit non-essential visitors from accessing their facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
SECTION 6. TRAVEL
All travel, including but not limited to, travel on foot, bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit, is prohibited, except for purposes of Essential Travel, performing Essential
Activities or going to work in an Essential Business, Government Service, or Critical Infrastructure, as defined in this Order. To the greatest extent feasible, people riding on public transit shall comply with social distancing and face covering requirements as defined in this Order and provided in CDC Guidelines. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, if someone in a household has tested positive for COVID-19, the household is ordered to isolate at home. Members of the household cannot go to work, school, or any other community function until cleared by a medical professional, but may seek medical services as needed from medical personnel and facilities.
SECTION 7. DEFINITIONS AND EXEMPTIONS
a. Individuals experiencing homelessness. A person that is homeless is exempt from this Order,
however, such a person is strongly urged to obtain shelter.
b. Essential Activities. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to
perform any of the following “Essential Activities.” People at high risk of severe illness from
COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible
except as necessary to seek medical care.
i. For Health and Safety. 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 health care professional, or obtaining
supplies need to work from home).
ii. To Obtain Necessary Supplies and Services. 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 supply, and any other household consumer
products), and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation
iii. For Outdoor Activity. To engage in outdoor activity such as visiting open parks
provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements (for example,
walking, biking, hiking, fishing or running). Individuals may go to public parks and open
outdoor recreation areas.
a. County Facilities. All County owned facilities, parks, and recreational areas shall
close for the duration of this Order. Hiking, biking, walking and fishing shall be
allowed, but all social distancing measures to include the use of face coverings shall
be followed and will be enforced. This shall include the closure of County owned
golf courses, handball courts, basketball courts, tennis courts, and pools. All
tournaments and special events shall be cancelled and prohibited during this period.
iv. For Certain Types of Work. To perform work providing essential products and
services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted
in this Order.
v. To Take Care of Others. To care for a family member or pet in another household or
to care for a friend, child, the elderly, sick or dying.
vi. To Seek Safe Residence. Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe,
such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their homes and stay
at a safe alternative home or residence.
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vii. Religious services including those conducted in churches, congregations, and houses
of worship; however, given the critical condition of the community battling COVID-19 it
is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED THAT SERVICES BE PROVIDED REMOTELY.
c. Essential Critical Infrastructure. Work necessary to the operations and maintenance
of the critical infrastructure sectors as identified by the National Cybersecurity and
Infrastructure Agency (CISA) including public works construction, residential and
commercial construction, airport operations, 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), financial institutions, defense and national security-related
operations, essential manufacturing operations 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 critical infrastructure shall implement
screening precautions to protect employees and all activity shall be performed in
compliance with Social Distancing Requirements.
d. Essential Government Functions. All services provided by local governments needed
to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies to provide for the health,
safety and welfare of the public. Further, nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual
from performing or accessing “Essential Government Functions.” Each government body
shall determine its Essential Government Functions and identify employees and/or
contractors necessary to the performance of those functions. All Essential Government
Functions shall be performed in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements of six
feet, to the extent possible.
i. County Essential Government Functions. All County elected officials are strongly
encouraged to allow their employees to work from home when possible.
e. Businesses Covered by this Order. For the purposes of this Order, covered businesses
include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities, regardless of the nature of the
service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure.
f. Essential Business. For purposes of this Order, Essential Business shall be defined as
i. 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 residentialbased care for seniors, adults, or children are also considered healthcare
operations. Healthcare operations also includes 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. This includes all
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ancillary workers necessary for the delivery of healthcare services. Healthcare
operations DO NOT include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.
ii. Essential Retail.
Individuals that choose to leave their homes for essential services SHALL limit
their visit to one member of the household, unless serving as a caregiver.
- Food service providers, including grocery stores, warehouse stores, bigbox stores, bodegas, liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores.
Food cultivation, including farming, fishing, and livestock.
- 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 or curbside service, in-person dining is prohibited under
- 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.
- Automobile dealerships, auto manufacturing and assembly, autosupply, auto and bicycle repair, hardware stores, and related facilities.
- Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.
- This exemption DOES NOT apply to outdoor food stalls or other goods
sold in an outdoor market, including but not limited to farmers’ markets
and swap meets.
- Retail to Go. Retail services that may be provided through pick-up,
delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep. All Social
Distancing and Face Covering Requirements shall be followed.
iii. 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.
iv. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain Essential Operations of
Residences or Other Essential Businesses. Trash and recycling collection,
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processing and disposal, building cleaning, maintenance and security,
warehouse/distribution and fulfillment, and storage for essential businesses.
Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide
services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential
operations of residences and Essential Businesses.
v. Professional Services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to
assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.
vi. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies
needed to operate.
vi. Petroleum Refineries
vii. Media. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services. Members of
the media shall follow all Social Distancing and Face Covering Requirements.
viii. Financial Institutions. Banks and related financial institutions, consumer
lenders, sales and finance lenders, credit unions, appraisers, and title companies.
ix. Mail and Delivery Services. Businesses providing mailing and shipping
servings, including post office boxes.
x. Educational Institutions. Educational institutions- including public and private
K-12 schools, colleges, and universities-for purposes of facilitating both distance
and onsite learning or performing essential functions, provided that Social
Distancing and Face Covering Requirements are followed; however, given the
critical condition of the community battling COVID-19 it is STRONGLY
ENCOURAGED THAT EDUCATIONAL SERVICES BE PROVIDED
REMOTELY OR SUSPENDED UNTIL SUCH TIME IT IS SAFE TO
RESUME IN PERSON INSTRUCTION AS PERMITTED BY LAW.
FURTHERMORE, IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED AND
ENCOURAGED THAT FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR COMMUNITY THAT
SCHOOL DISTRICTS SUSPEND ALL EXTRACURRICULAR
ACTIVITIES, TO INCLUDE SPORT ACTIVITIES, THROUGHOUT THE
DURATION OF THIS ORDER.
xi. Supplies for Essential Businesses, Critical Infrastructure and Essential
Government Functions. Businesses that supply other Essential Businesses,
Critical Infrastructure, and Essential Government Functions with the support or
supplies necessary to operate; including but not limited to computers, audio and
video electronics, hardware, paint, electrical and plumbing material. Sanitary
equipment, medical equipment and supplies, and food and beverages. This includes
businesses and manufacturers that retool so that a substantial part of their business
is for the purpose of manufacturing and producing ventilators.
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xii. Food Delivery Services. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods
or services directly to residences or stores that sell groceries or other essential
xiii. Transportation. Taxis, trains, and other private transportation providers (such
as Uber and Lyft) that provide transportation services necessary for the
performance of Essential Activities, Essential Businesses, Critical Infrastructure,
Essential Government Functions, and Essential Travel. This includes transportation
maintenance services such as mechanics necessary to keep transportation services
xiv. Home-Based Care and Services. Home-based care for the sick or dying,
seniors, adults, or children, including caregivers who may travel to provide support
xvi. Residential Facilities and Shelters. Residential facilities and shelters for
seniors, adults, children, including but not limited to homeless shelters, centers
against family violence, and transitional housing.
xvii. Information Technology Services. IT and IT services and their essential
services vendors, including the provision of essential global, national, and local
infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications,
web-based services, and critical manufacturing. This includes stores primarily
engaged in repairing computers, electronics and cell phones.
xviii. Childcare Facilities. Childcare facilities providing services that enable
employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible,
childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:
- Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 10 of fewer (“stable”
means that the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
- Children shall not change from one group to another, unless there is a
closure of a childcare facility that requires a child to be placed in a new
childcare facility. Children coming from facilities that may have closed
shall be grouped together in one group, when possible.
- If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group
shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
- Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.
xix. Animal Shelters and other Business that Maintain Live Animals. Business
that maintain and care for live animals are not permitted to allow any visitors or
patrons, but may continue to operate to the extent necessary to provide for the
animals. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a non-employee from entering the
premises to perform an Essential Health Care Services or another Essential
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xx. Vector and Pest Control. Establishments primarily engaged in exterminating
and controlling birds, mosquitos, rodents, termites, wasps, and other insects and
xxi. Funeral and Post-Mortem Services: Workers performing mortuary services,
including funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemetery workers. Workers who
coordinate with other organizations to ensure the proper recovery, handling,
identification, transportation, tracking, storage, and disposal of human remains and
personal effects; certify cause of death; and facilitate access to behavioral health
services to family members, responders, and survivors of an incident. Given the
state of an overwhelming surge on fatalities funeral homes may operate at 50%
g. Minimum Basic Operations. As noted above, all businesses or operations with a
facility in the County of El Paso, except Essential Businesses as defined in this Order, are
required to cease all activities at facilities located within the County, except for Minimum
Basic Operations and Retail to Go, as defined in this Order. For the purposes of this Order,
“Minimum Basic Operations” include the following, provided that employees comply with
all Social Distancing and Face Covering Requirements:
i. The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s
inventory, preserve the condition of business’s physical plant and equipment,
ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions; or
ii. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being
able to continue to work remotely from their residences.
h. Essential Travel. For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Travel” includes travel for
any of the following purposes. Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply
with all Social Distancing and Face Covering Requirements as defined in this Order.
i. Any travel related to the provision of or access to Election Activities, Essential
Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, Critical
Infrastructure, or Minimum Basic Operations;
ii. Travel to care for or transport the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with
disabilities, or other vulnerable persons, pets, or livestock;
iii. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for
distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services;
iv. Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction;
v. Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including an administrative
vi. Travel by church staff/clergy for the purpose of providing religious services and
other ministries requiring travel;
vii. Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside
viii. Travel engaged in interstate commerce and otherwise subject to the provisions
of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
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i. Social Distancing Requirements. For purposes of this Order Social Distancing
Requirements include maintain at least six-foot social distancing from other
individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as
frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering
coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch
surfaces, and not shaking hands.
j. Face Covering Requirement. Because an infected person can transmit the COVID-19
virus to others before showing any symptoms, the covering of a person’s nose and
mouth is necessary to help slow the spread of the virus. Therefore, every person in El
Paso shall wear some form of face covering over their nose and mouth, such as a
homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief, when inside a commercial entity or
other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space,
whenever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person
not in the same household; provided, however, that this face covering requirement does
not apply to the following:
i. Any person younger than 2 years of age (Note, parents and guardians of children
over the age of 2 and under the age of 10 are responsible for appropriately making
their children wear a face covering as required herein);
ii. Any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face
iii. Any person while the person is consuming food or drink;
iv. Any person while the person is (a) exercising or engaging in physical activity
outdoors, indoors, individually or in a group and (b) maintaining a safe distance
from other people not in the same household;
v. Any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the
same household as the driver;
vi. Any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face
covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the
face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personal care service
involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
vii. Any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
viii. Any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively
administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
ix. Any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but
wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
x. Any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience.
Not excepted from this face-covering requirement is any person attending a protest or
demonstration involving more than 10 people and who is not practicing safe social
distancing of six feet from other people not in the same household.
Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for maintaining 6-feet social distancing and hand-washing,
as these remain important steps to slowing the spread of the virus.
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It is strongly recommended that you not obtain or wear medical grade masks or N-95 respirators as
they are a needed resource for healthcare providers and first responders.
Violation of Face Covering Requirement. Following a verbal or written warning for a first-time
violator of this face-covering requirement, a person’s second violation shall be punishable by a
fine not to exceed $250. Each subsequent violation shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed
$250 per violation.
SECTION 8. LABORATORY CONFIRMED COVID-19 TEST RESULTS
An individual that receives a positive COVID-19 test result but that has not yet been contacted by
the City’s Department of Public Health within 24 hours of receiving the laboratory results, must
isolate, and those from within their household must quarantine, and report to (915) 212-6520
within 24 hours of receiving the positive test result. Healthcare workers and first responders should
follow the current Department of Public Health’s Guidelines for Healthcare Workers and First
Responders, as published on epstrong.org.
FAILURE TO REPORT. Individuals who fail to report or participate in contact tracing efforts
shall be subject to the Enforcement provision of this Order.
SECTION 9. HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY BUSINESSES. All businesses in El Paso County
shall develop and implement a health and safety policy (“Health and Safety Policy”). The Health
and Safety Policy shall require, at a minimum, the following:
a. All businesses (this shall include all offices and departments for the County of El
Paso) must require employees, including volunteers, to have a face covering when
either in an area or performing an activity which will necessarily involve close
contact or proximity to co-workers or the public, where six (6) feet of separation
from other individuals not in the same household is not feasible, and to the extent
allowed by law;
b. All businesses must require that all visitors, to include contractors and vendors,
wear face coverings while on the business’s premises. Visitors subject to an
exception listed in Section 4 are not subject to this provision;
c. All businesses must maintain and provide face coverings for visitors;
d. All businesses must post the Health and Safety Policy required by this Order in a
conspicuous location sufficient to provide notice to employees, volunteers and
e. The Health and Safety Policy required to be developed and implemented by this
Order may also include other mitigating measures designed to control and reduce
the transmission of COVID-19 such as temperature checks and health screenings.
For the purposes of this Order, covered businesses include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational
entities, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity
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Violation For Failure to Implement Health and Safety Policy. Failure to develop and
implement the Health and Safety Policy required by this Order by the Effective Date may result in
a fine not to exceed $500 for each violation.
SECTION 10. ESSENTIAL SERVICES EXEMPTED. Notwithstanding the above restriction,
this Order is not intended to apply to any business operations delivering essential services.
Essential Services means services, by whomsoever rendered, and whether rendered to the
government or to any other person, the interruption of which would endanger life, health or
personal safety of the whole or part of the population.
SECTION 11. TERM. This Order shall be effective on Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 11:59
PM MDT, and continue until Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at 11:59 PM MST unless
otherwise terminated, rescinded, superseded, or amended by the County Judge pursuant to
SECTION 12. ORDER POSTING. The County of El Paso must promptly provide copies of this
Order by posting on the El Paso County website. In addition, the owner, manager, or operator of
any facility that is likely to be impacted by this Order is strongly encouraged to post a copy of this
Order onsite and to provide a copy to any member of the public asking for a copy.
SECTION 13. ENFORCEMENT
Pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 418.173(b), it is an offense for an individual to
violate a condition or restriction of any Order issued by the El Paso County Judge during the public
health crisis/disaster. Unless an alternate penalty is described within a specific Section of this
Order No. 13, said offense shall be a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed
Any peace officer, including, but not limited to, officers of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office,
the El Paso Police Department, County of El Paso Constables, and the Fire Marshal’s Office, is
hereby authorized to enforce the provisions of this Order in accordance with the authority granted
under Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code. To the extent allowed by law, this order may
be enforced by any code enforcement officers, code compliance officers, or other similar
designation, in the same manner that municipal codes and ordinances are enforced.
SECTION 14. APPLICATION. This Order of the County Judge applies to all incorporated and
unincorporated areas of El Paso County. This includes the Village of Vinton, City of San Elizario,
City of Socorro, Town of Horizon City, Town of Clint, Town of Anthony, and City of El Paso. To
the extent of conflict between the El Paso County Judge and mayor of any city within the
geographic boundaries of El Paso County, the decisions set forth in this Order prevail to fullest
extent allowed by law pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 418.108.
SECTION 15. POSTING OF THIS ORDER
The County will post this Order. In addition, the owner, manager, or operator of any facility that
is likely to be impacted by this shall post a copy of this Order onsite and to provide a copy to any
member of the public asking for a copy.
Page 16 of 16
SECTION 16. PRIOR ORDERS
This Order is issued in accordance with and incorporates by reference declarations, ordinances,
findings, and recitals set out in the preamble to this Order. Unless specifically referenced in this
Order No. 13, all prior County Judge Orders and relevant amendments shall stand superseded. To
the extent that there is a conflict between this Order and any executive order of the Governor, the
strictest order shall prevail.
SECTION 17. SAVINGS CLAUSE. If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this
Order or any application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be
invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision
will not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.
SECTION 18. This order supersedes all previous orders on this matter that are in conflict or
inconsistent with its terms, and this order shall remain in effect until the state of local disaster is
terminated, subject to being extended, modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by me.
ORDERED this the 29th day of October, 2020, in El Paso County, Texas.