Exemptions apply for "Essential Businesses" and certain activities, including grocery shopping and non-group outdoor exercise

The Lampasas City Council voted unanimously Monday to issue an emergency declaration that includes an order for city residents "to shelter at their place of residence."
 

The declaration -- which states a need to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease -- shall continue through April 3, unless the council extends the order.
 

The order requires all city of Lampasas residents to take shelter at their residence -- and to leave their residences only for what are defined as Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions or operating Essential Businesses.
 

ALLOWABLE ACTIVITIES

Essential Activities include:
 

• obtaining groceries "and any other household consumers products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences." People are allowed to get those supplies for themselves, as well as their family or household members. People also are allowed to deliver those supplies to others.
 

• obtaining medical supplies or medicine, or visiting a health care professional.
 

"Healthcare operations," according to the order, include hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, health care suppliers, home health care service providers, mental health providers "or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services." "Healthcare operations" also include health care services for animals.
 

• getting supplies needed to work from home.

 

• outdoor exercise including walking, hiking, running or bicycling.

 

Except for people living at the same residence, those who engage in outdoor activities must comply with "Social Distancing Requirements," including staying at least 6 feet away from other people and avoiding handshakes.

 

Other social distancing requirements listed in the order are washing hands with soap and water "for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible" -- or using hand sanitizer; coughing or sneezing into one's sleeve or elbow, rather than into one's hands; and "regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces."

 

• caring for a family member or pet in another household.

 

BUSINESS OPERATIONS THAT ARE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

All businesses not defined as "essential" are required to close to the public. Businesses not defined as "essential" may allow their employees to work, however, as long as staff members follow the social distancing requirements.

 

The city encourages all businesses -- including "essential" ones -- to allow employees to work from home to the greatest extent possible.

 

Business operations that must close to the public while the order is in effect -- according to a question-and-answer sheet from the city -- include bars, gyms, fitness or dance studios, spas, barber shops, beauty parlors, nail salons, and the dining rooms at restaurants and/or hotels.

 

Closures for the preceding business operations apply even if the businesses limit access so that no more than 10 clients are present at one time.

 

Although restaurant and hotel dining rooms must close to the public, food service via drive-through, delivery or carry-out service is classified as "essential businesses" -- meaning those types of services are not subject to closure. Customers may not eat at the site where they pick up their food.

 

The city order directs businesses that prepare food to develop a customer call-in system so customers may pick up their food one at a time, without people lining up outside vehicles.

 

"If lines cannot be avoided, it shall be the restaurant management's responsibility to assure that safe Social Distancing is practiced," the order states. That rule applies not only to restaurants with an actual building, but also to food trucks.

 

"ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES" THAT ARE NOT CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC

The city order lists the following as "essential" businesses -- which are not required to close to the public.

 

• healthcare operations.

 

• grocery stores, farm and produce stands, food banks, convenience stores, liquor stores, and other retail establishments that provide canned food, dry goods, fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, meats, fish, poultry, household consumer products such as cleaning and personal care products. This includes stores that sell groceries as well as non-grocery itmes "and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences."

 

• food cultivation, such as farming, livestock and fishing.

 

• businesses that provide food, shelter and social services for economically disadvantaged individuals.

 

• newspapers, television, radio and other media services.

 

• gas stations, auto supply and auto repair facilities.

 

• banks and financial institutions.

 

• hardware and construction supply stores.

 

• plumbers, electricians, exterminators and service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities and Essential Businesses.

 

• businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes.

 

• laundromats, drycleaners and laundry service providers.

 

• businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.

 

• businesses that provide other essential businesses with supplies necessary to operate.

 

•businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences.

 

• businesses that provide transportation services necessary for essential activities.

 

• home-based case for seniors, adults or children.

 

• residential facilities for seniors, adults and children.

 

• professional services, such as legal, accounting, insurance, real estate -- including appraisal, survey and title services.

 

• childcare facilities that enable employees exempted in this order to work, provided children stay in the same group of 12 or fewer each day, and that groups do not mingle with each other.

 

• utilities, telecommunications, trash collection, law enforcement, EMS, corrections, dispatch, animal shelters, and government employees deemed essential.

 

• janitorial and maintenance services, funeral industry, defense industry, space industry, technology industry and scientific research.

 

• religious services provided in residences, healthcare facilities, at funerals or provided online while being broadcast from a religious facility.

 

OTHER EFFECTS

Depending on the size of congregations, religious services may be subject to closure, the city announced in a question-and-answer sheet. That is because public or private community gatherings are prohibited if they are likely to bring together 10 or more people at the same time in "a single room or enclosed space," including an auditorium, meeting hall and event center.

 

The city announced that it encourages remote participation in religious services by video streaming if possible.

 

Funeral services are allowed "as long as indoor attendance is limited to fewer than 10 persons," the city announced. "Outside graveside services would not be subject to the community gathering prohibition as long as they are not in fenced or otherwise enclosed spaces and attendees are able to maintain 6-foot social distancing measures."

 

All travel is prohibited unless it relates to Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, the limited operations allowed at what are defined as "non-essential" businesses, or other purposes allowed according to the order.

 

Those other types of allowable travel are:

 

• to care for elderly people, minors, dependents, people who have disabilities "or other vulnerable persons."

 

• to or from educational institutions to receive meals, materials for remote learning or related services.

 

• returning to a residence from outside the city.

 

• travel required by law enforcement or court order.

 

• by non-Lampasas residents to return to their residence outside the city.

 

Those who engage in Essential Travel must comply with social distancing, the order states.

 

Parks and playgrounds remain open, although the public bathrooms at such sites are closed, the city announced.
 

The parks and recreation department "has implemented an extensive cleaning schedule for all playground equipment, tables, benches and other outdoor facilities," the city stated.
 

Hancock Park Golf Course is closed.

 

ENFORCEMENT

A violation of the order is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $1-$1,000. Each day of a violation constitutes a separate offense.
 

Questions about business operations may be directed to the city at 512-556-6831.

 

VIEW THE DOCUMENTS

See https://www.lampasas.org/ DocumentCenter/View/2083/City -of-Lampasas-Declaration-of-Disaster--Public-Health to read the full emergency order.

The city has posted answers to many questions about the emergency declaration. See
file:///C:/Users/L0lwindows/ Downloads/City_Declaration_23 MAR2020_questions_answers.pdf for the full question-and-answer document.