Harris County Judge Orders Bars and Clubs Closed, Restaurants to Move to Take Out, Pick Up and Delivery Only

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is ordering bars and clubs closed and limiting restaurant operations.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is ordering bars and clubs closed and limiting restaurant operations. HTV Houston
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo announced at a 5 p.m. press conference today that she was ordering that for the next 15 days, starting Tuesday at 8 a.m., all bars and clubs in the county be closed and that restaurants offer no sit down service — instead just delivery, take out and curbside pickup.

"Unless you need to go out, stay home," she said. "And stay away from crowds."  She noted that since word first began of the spread of coronavirus in the United States, the number of people that different government officials has recommended an individual should be around has decreased markedly and now is down to ten.

"History will say we prioritized human life. If we erred we erred on the side of action," Hidalgo said. "We shouldn't have crowds."

The fundamental point is you should not be in any kind of gathering," Hidalgo said.

Mayor Turner said their opinions have changed from day to day about the strategies they need to undertake in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

"What we need to do is slow the progression of this virus before it overwhelms our healthcare system," Mayr Sylvester Turner said. "People need to act responsively."

If bars and clubs insit on opening, they will receive citations, officials said, if they aren't willing to work with the city and county.

County Attorney Vince Ryan's office is working on price gouging and the county will be setting up a hotline. 

And in separate action, the Houston ISD announced that it was extending its districtwide closure through Friday, April 10 and that school will now reopen on Monday, April 13. On April 6 the district will re-evaluate whether that should be longer. 
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