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Galveston County's stay-at-home order comes amid challenging time for island tourism

Some Galveston Island hotels already have occupancy rates in the single digits

GALVESTON, Texas — Galveston County’s “stay-at-home” order comes amid already challenging times for the island’s tourism industry.

Folks on the island said more rough seas were likely ahead.

"It’s horrible, look at it, it’s dead,” one resident said of the island.

The occupancy rate at some hotels is the single digits while restaurants are limited to delivery and takeout only.

A number of other businesses have closed because of coronavirus concerns.

There were hardly any people on the beach or walking along the Seawall on Tuesday.

"As a community, we’re really committed to finding a way to get through this,” said Michael Woody, Galveston's chief tourism officer. "Because a lot of our customers or a lot of our guests are coming from communities that already have this in place, you know, we’ve certainly seen the effect.”

Galveston County Judge Mark Henry and 13 of the county's municipal mayors signed off on the “stay-at-home” order.

It allows essential businesses and those that support them to remain open on the island and elsewhere.

"We’re not trying to devastate the economy," Henry said. "We’re trying to keep society working.”

Henry, who's been working out of the emergency management center, asked for voluntary compliance from everyone.

"We are facing a situation we’ve never seen before," Henry said. "So, it’s really hard to have a response such as 'it doesn’t apply to me.' It really does apply to all of us.”

Click here to read Galveston County's stay-at-home order.

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