Updated Friday, June 26 at 5:20 p.m.
Editor's Note: Navarro County Judge H.M. Davenport issued an amended order to correspond with Gov. Greg Abbott's most recent executive orders. This order will still take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, June 29.
Navarro County Judge H.M. Davenport issued an executive order Thursday, June 25 declaring that businesses develop and enforce a Health and Safety Policy. The order goes into effect at midnight Monday, June 29.
"The Navarro County order only applies to the unincorporated areas of the County," Judge Davenport stated. "It does not apply to individual cities, and those folks within their city limits, unless the Mayor and city council choose to either formally adopt the County order or create their own order."
The Health and Safety Policy must require, at a minimum, that all employees and visitors to the businesses' premises wear face coverings when in an area or performing an activity which will involve close contact with co-workers or the public.
The Policy may allow those with an operational need to remove a face covering, so long as the needs are specifically addressed in the Health and Safety Policy. It may also include the implementation of other measures designed to control and reduce the transmission of COVID-19, such as temperature checks or health screenings.
Under the executive order, all entities in Navarro County providing goods or services directly to the public must develop and implement a Health and Safety Policy.
The Health and Safety Policy should require, at a minimum, that all employees and visitors to the entity's business premises wear face coverings when in an area or performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public.
The Health and Safety Policy may allow individuals with an operational need to remove a face covering so long as such operational needs are specifically addressed in the Health and Safety Policy. The Health and Safety Policy may also include the implementation of other mitigating measures designed to control and reduce the transmission of COVID-19 such as temperature checks or health screenings.
Entities must post the Health and Safety Policy required by this Executive Order in a conspicuous location sufficient to provide notice to employees and visitors of all health and safety requirements. Entities should post the Health and Safety Policy required by this Executive Order in a conspicuous location sufficient to provide notice to employees and visitors of all Health and Safety Requirements.
Judge Davenport's orders provide an example of the required Health and Safety Policy:
“The virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, it is the policy of this business to require the following:
1. Face covering required in order to enter and remain on premises. All persons over the age of 10, including employees, customers, visitors, invitees, and contractors (“patrons”) who enter this business must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth, such as s homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief.
• The requirement of a face covering does not apply if covering the nose and mouth poses as significant mental or physical health risk to the individual.
• The requirement of a face covering also does not apply when an individual is consuming food or beverage or receiving a service where the wearing of a mask would impair the performance of the service.
2. Social distancing protocols. Even with the use of appropriate face coverings, individuals should maintain six feet of social distancing whenever possible.
• Employees should not work within six feet of one another, except to the extent necessary to provide services.
• Patrons should maintain six feet of separation from other individuals outside their household, to the extent feasible when inside the business premises.
• Patrons of the business queuing or waiting inside or on the premises of the business must maintain six feet of separation from other individuals outside their household.
3. Violations. Patrons who do not wear a face covering will be asked to leave the premises and will not be provided goods or services until the face covering requirements are followed.
4. Notice and signage. Notice of this Health and Safety Policy will be posted in a conspicuous location of the business.”
Other than the exemptions specifically provided in the executive orders of Gov. Greg Abbott, people in areas open to the public where social distancing is not possible and where it is estimated that 100 people or more are present, are required to wear masks.
All people 10 years or older are strongly urged to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in an area open the public where it is difficult to stay six feet away from others or working in areas that involve close proximity to co-workers.
The Center for Disease Control advises face coverings for people two years of age of older. Face coverings may include homemade masks, scarves, bandanas or a handkerchief.
Navarro County residents should continue to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while outside their homes.
Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:
• When exercising or engaging in physical activity outside
• While driving along or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
• When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk
• While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment
• While in a building or participating in an activity that requires security, surveillance, screening, or identification, for example, banks
• When consuming food or drink