Staff work at a drive-through COVID-19 testing site in Dallas, Texas, the United States, March 21, 2020. (Photo by Dan Tian/Xinhua)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday extended the social distancing protocols through the end of April to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Essential Services and Activities Protocols, all Texans must minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household until April 30.
According to the governor's announcement, the Executive Order includes instructing Texans to avoid eating or drinking at bars and restaurants. Schools will remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance through May 4, said Abbott.
Essential activities like grocery shopping and banking are permitted as long as people keep their distance of at least six feet apart, which also applies to outdoor physical activities.
"Social distancing is our best tool in the fight against COVID-19, and the actions we have taken thus far have proven to be effective in limiting the spread of this virus," said Abbott.
The announcement came as the state confirmed at least 3,266 COVID-19 cases, including 41 deaths.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Tuesday also extended the "Stay Home, Work Safe" order to April 30. The initial order will expire this Friday.
People in Harris County, where Houston is located, are required to remain at home unless essential business needs to be conducted.
Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press briefing that the decision of extending the "Stay Home" order was made upon the unanimous advice of health care officials.