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Fort Bend County issues order to close bars, limit restaurant service during coronavirus emergency

Here's a look at the order issued in Fort Bend County.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fort Bend County is following suit with many of the country's largest cities as the world continues to respond to the spread of the coronavirus by issuing an order to close bars and limit restaurant service.

Monday night, health officials issued a set of guidelines for the public to follow through April 1, or until otherwise noted, but less than a day later, the county issued the new order to enforce the public gathering restrictions.

The order, which was issued by Fort Bend County Judge KP George, Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Director and Local Health Authority Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson Minter and other county officials, goes into effect at midnight Tuesday and will expire on March 31 at midnight unless terminated or modified.

The order says:

Restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services and microbreweries, micro-distilleries, or wineries may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-through services as allowed by law

Bars, nightclubs, lounges, taverns, arcades and private clubs shall close

What they said:

KP George: “Minimizing the spread of COVID-19 is something that government officials cannot do alone. Enacting this order will protect our frontline emergency and medical personnel and those at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. From The White House to our regional partners, we agree that this situation requires all of us, including the young and healthy, to follow and make sacrifices if our community is going to remain healthy and intact. We must listen to the science, data, and medical experts to ensure we do all that we can to flatten the curve and spread of COVID-19.”

Minter: “We need to protect our parents, grandparents, and those who have chronic medical conditions. It will take the entire community to slow the spread of COVID-19. Science shows that proactive measures like this help flatten the curve and slow spread of COVID-19, especially when there is evidence of community spread in our region.”

Fort Bend County Hotlines:

General Public Line: 281-633-7795

Physician and Community Partner Line: 281-344-6118

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.

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RELATED: Matagorda County man in late 90s with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 died Sunday; confirmed positive Monday

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RELATED: Houston-area bars forced to close, dining-in no longer allowed at restaurants for next 15 days

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