Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough has extended his stay-at-home order until April 30. In a Facebook statement, Keough said the extension follows executive orders from Gov. Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump extending social distancing recommendations.
The extension also applies to the daily curfew, which runs between 11:50 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Originally posted 1:02 p.m., March 27
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough issued a stay-at-home order for the county's residents beginning at 11:59 p.m. March 27, days after county officials said they would likely not implement shelter-in-place orders similar to those issued recently in other Greater Houston counties. The order will remain in effect through April 12.
Through the month of March, Keough issued increasingly stringent limitations on gatherings and business operations in response to concerns surrounding the new coronavirus outbreak, culminating in the final order issued March 27.
“I have attempted at every turn to make patient and measured decisions and write patient and measured orders. However, given the most recent information concerning the spread of the virus and the potential for loss of life for our county and for our region, I am amending my original order to become the Montgomery County 'Stay at Home, Stop the Spread' order," Keough said in a Facebook video announcing the order March 27.
The order applies to residents and nonessential businesses in the county, Keough said. Businesses including grocery stores and pharmacies, restaurants offering to-go and delivery services, hospitals and doctors' offices, and financial institutions are considered essential and exempted under the order.
Additionally, a daily curfew running from 11:59 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be imposed throughout the county for the order's duration. Exempted individuals include essential government employees, those traveling through the county, those traveling to work or providing a delivery service for an essential business, and those seeking emergency medical care.
The full "Stay Home, Stop the Spread" order and additional information about the coronavirus may be viewed here.
Keough also said county law enforcement had been contacted regarding the order and would enforce the restrictions on residents and businesses once the order is in effect. Violation of the order is punishable by a fine up to $1,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both.
“Essential businesses and the public at large, we are not urging you, we are telling you: You must comply with CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] social distancing guidelines. Do whatever it takes with your resources as an essential business and don't jeopardize your status as an essential business," Keough said in the Facebook video.
As of March 26, the Montgomery County Public Health District reported 41 cases of the coronavirus in the county, including one recovery. No deaths caused by the coronavirus have been recorded in the county.