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Stay-at-home order issued for Galveston County, City of Galveston residents until April 3

Residents are being told they need to remain at their homes except for essential reasons.

GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — Galveston County and City of Galveston residents have been ordered to remain at their homes in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The city and countywide order begins at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 and will remain in effect until April 3.

All mayors within the city and county agreed to the "Stay at Home” order, which only allows residents to leave their homes for essential activities.

Here are the terms of the order:

  • All individuals currently living within Galveston County to remain at their place of residence unless engaging in essential activities, providing essential governmental functions, or operating essential businesses
  • All businesses, except essential businesses, should cease all activities at facilities located within Galveston County
  • All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single house or living unit are prohibited
  • Restaurants may only provide take-out, delivery, or drive-through services as allowed by law
  • Religious and worship services may only be provided by video and teleconferencing while limiting in-person staff to 10 people or less
  • All elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited anywhere in Galveston County

If any member of a household test positive for COVID-19, all members of the household are ordered to isolate at home for 14 days unless otherwise directed by the Local Health Authority.

Also part of the order:

  • Nursing homes, retirement communities, and long-term care facilities are to prohibit non-essential visitors
  • Tolls are waived at the San Luis Pass toll booth

Click here for a full list of essential activities and businesses.

The City of Galveston also has three other orders going into effect Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • Short-term rentals operating within the City of Galveston are prohibited from renting or leasing short-term rentals.
  • Businesses located within the City of Galveston are prohibited from operating electronic amusement machines.
  • Fishing piers and charter fishing operators are prohibited from operating within the City of Galveston.

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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.