Branick: Open businesses should screen employees

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Businesses that remain open during the COVID-19 epidemic are urged to use protocol to protect their staff, according to a news release from Judge Jeff Branick, including screening employees, maintaining safe distances and limiting personal, physical contact.

"Governor Abbott's order was clear as to the types of businesses that may remain open 'if they allow for pick up or delivery options' or those whose patrons can transact business quickly, at a safe distance and with minimal physical exposure," the release read. "We urge all to use their best judgement, and any need for clarification or guidance should be requested from the Governor's office."

Culled from the Governor Abbott's order:

Order No. 1 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.

Order No. 2 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.

Order No. 3 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

Order No. 4 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.

This executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This executive order does not mandate sheltering in place. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, domestic travel will remain unrestricted, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services. For offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVD-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this executive order will expire.