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Harris County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Collin County, Tarrant County, and Dallas County have all issued Stay at Home / Shelter-In-Place Orders.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order taking effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 24, 2020.  The order requires residents to remain inside except for “Essential Activities,” and requires non-essential businesses close their facilities.  “Essential Activities” includes activities related to health and safety, but also allows people to shop for household consumer products and supplies needed to work from home, and to “perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business.” In enumerating the Essential Businesses allowed to remain open, the Harris County order incorporates the 16 “Essential Critical Infrastructure” sectors identified by the National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) as “Essential Businesses.”

As noted in our previous client alert, the CISA guidance considers a broad range of electricity, petroleum, natural and propane gas, and chemical workers as critical infrastructure.  In effect, the entire supply chain for energy-related industries is deemed essential.  Further, any operations that are “necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products” demanded by the energy or chemical manufacturing supply chains are also exempt from closure.

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