General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Waco & McLennan County encourage their residents to leave home only for essential activities. As we continue to follow the Governor's plan to reopen Texas, it is vital to practice social/physical distancing and limit activities outside your household.

The local emergency order still requires citizens to only leave their house for 'essential activities'. Let's continue the progress we've made... together.

What does the current Order do?

This Order (City of Waco and McLennan County have similar orders) requires that most people stay home starting as soon as possible, but no later than 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 1, 2020, unless they are engaged in certain “Essential Activities” which are discussed more below.

For most people, this means you and those you live with should remain at home. You are allowed to leave your home for specified reasons to make sure you have the necessities of life (discussed more below) such as getting food and medical supplies, or to operate or patronize Essential Businesses or Re-Opened Businesses. You are also allowed to go outside to take care of a pet or for exercise so long as you do not congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people. If you are sick you should self-isolate, including, to the extent you can, from others you live with (more on that below).

When does the Order go into effect?

The Order went into effect at 12:01 a.m., on Friday, May 1, 2020, lasting until 11:59 p.m. on May 19th, unless updated or changed by Waco City Council (or in McLennan County, the Commissioners Court).

Where is the Order in effect?

This Order is in effect for the City of Waco. McLennan County issued a similar order on April 28, 2020. Please check with McLennan County or neighboring cities for specific restrictions in place outside of Waco.

Who issued the Order and why?

This Order was issued by the Waco City Council.

Our local health and hospital authorities have urged us that an action such as this is inevitable and that the time is now to limit the spread of COVID-19 in order to preserve our healthcare capacities.

Is this mandatory or is it just guidance?

Yes, it’s mandatory. This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of Texas law. You are required to comply, and it is a crime (a misdemeanor) to disobey the Order.

Why is this Order in place?

This Order is in place to address the ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. There is substantial community transmission of the virus, which is easily spread between people. One big challenge in controlling the transmission of the virus is that many people who have it don’t have symptoms or have mild symptoms. But they can easily spread the virus even if they don’t feel ill. And the virus lasts a long time on many surfaces (from hours to days).

Unfortunately, this virus can cause severe symptoms in some people and can also be fatal. Some who get the virus, especially those over 60 years old, those who have weak immune systems, and those with various medical conditions (see below for a full list), can end up with serious complications that include fever, pneumonia, and even in some instances death. There is no approved treatment or cure for COVID-19. That means that people who get very sick need medical intervention such as oxygen or help breathing.

Because the virus spreads so easily, without dramatic intervention like this Order, it would result in so many people needing medical attention in a hospital setting that our hospitals will be overwhelmed. We may not have enough beds or equipment to adequately care for the most seriously ill. And our health care workers and other first responders are also at risk, and if they get sick there are fewer people to provide health care and first response services. For those reasons, it is critical that we now do everything in our power to slow down the spread of the virus. Doing so will help to “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and help our health care system not be overwhelmed. If this succeeds, it means that there will be health care available for those who get sick with COVID-19 or who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical conditions.

We all have to do our part now to protect everyone in the community. The best way to do that is to “socially isolate” yourself at home to avoid further spread of the virus.

What happens if I don’t comply with this Order?

This is a legally enforceable order. It is a crime to violate this Order, and you may be punished by a fine for doing so.

Essential & Non-Essential Businesses

I run an Essential Business, as defined by the Order. Do I need to get an official letter of authorization from the City to operate?

No. If your business is in the list of Essential Businesses provided in the Order, then you may operate it. You do not need to obtain any specific authorization from the City to do so.

I work for an Essential Business, as defined by the Order. Do I need to have a letter from my employer or other documentation to travel?

No. You do not need to carry official documentation demonstrating that you are exempt under the Order. But be prepared to explain if requested by law enforcement why your travel is authorized under the Order.

Questions About Sheltering in Place

What does it mean to “shelter in place?”

The term “shelter in place” means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the exceptions listed in the Order (discussed more below).

What is the difference between “sheltering in place” and “social distancing”?

Sheltering in place means you:

  • Must stay at home
  • Can only leave your home for “essential activities,” to work for an “essential business,” for “essential travel,” or to operate or patronize a “re-opened business” which are defined in the Order (see FAQs for details)
  • Cannot host or attend any gatherings

Social distancing means:

You should also maintain 6 foot distance from other people as much as possible, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds each time (or use hand sanitizer), frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick.

Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need or I am not performing an essential activity?

No. For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Can I still get my mail and deliveries?

Yes. You will still be able to get mail and other deliveries at your home.
Can I still order the things I need online and have them delivered to my residence?
Yes. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are “essential businesses” that may continue to operate.

Can I go out to do laundry or have my laundry done?

Yes. Maintain social distancing.

Can I get my prescriptions or other health care needs? Can I leave home to go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled?

Yes. Drug stores and other medical supply stores are allowed to operate. When possible you should have prescription medicines and health care supplies delivered to your home.

I’m a medical provider – am I allowed to remain open for non-essential services?

If you are a medical provider your office is encouraged to remain open to provide medically necessary care. As of May 1st, non-essential medical services can begin.

Can I still go to my Mental Health appointments?

Yes, mental health appointments can continue. Patients should consult with their practitioners to determine whether it is appropriate and feasible to conduct individual mental health appointments remotely.

Can I still go to my substance abuse treatment groups (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous) or other group counseling sessions?

All participants in group counseling services must attend meetings remotely if they are equipped to do so. Groups should make accommodations for remote support to the maximum extent feasible. If remote participation is not feasible or advisable under the circumstances, participation may occur in person provided that there is compliance with the social distancing requirements set forth in the Order, including maintaining at least 6 foot distance between individuals and capping group size to reduce in-person interactions.

What mental health resources are available for people experiencing distress?

The following resources are available to help people who may be experiencing distress or heightened anxiety right now:

  • STARRY Counseling seeing families through telephone, telehealth and crisis line. (3/20/20)
  • Call 911 for a life-threatening crisis.
  • MHMR’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Team (MCOT) provides community-based crisis assessment and response. The team meets people where they are: at home, on the street, in the hospital, or in a shelter. Call 866-752-3451.
  • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free and confidential support for people in distress. English: 800-273-8255; Spanish: 888-628-9454; Deaf and hard-of-hearing (TTY and chat): 800-799-4889. Chat is available 24/7. Because of the high demand, it may be necessary to wait for a counselor. The wait is worth it.
  • The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7 crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters: 800-985-5990. Services are available in English and Spanish.

Should cafeterias in hospitals be closed?

Facilities that prepare and serve food are now allowed to provide dine-in services, but only at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy. Service must be structured to ensure six-foot minimum distancing between non-related individuals.

What if I need to get healthcare from my medical provider?

You can still get your health needs addressed. Contact your health care provider to see if they are providing regular services.

What should I do if I’m sick? If I or a family member need immediate medical attention, can I leave home to go to the doctor or hospital?

If you are feeling sick, first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center before going to the hospital. Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency. But you can and should seek medical advice if you or a family member is sick. If it is not an emergency, please contact your primary care provider to determine next steps. Also, you can check online resources to help you assess symptoms if you are worried about whether you or a loved one has COVID-19. You should check https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for more information. Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Can I leave home to care for my elderly parents or friends who require assistance to care for themselves? Or a friend or family member who has disabilities?

Yes. Be extremely cautious when providing care to vulnerable people and ensure that you protect them and yourself by following social distancing guidelines such as washing hands before and after, using hand sanitizer, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance when possible, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

You may visit a hospital or other healthcare facility only for the purpose of obtaining health care services and supplies. Non-essential visitations are prohibited. Do not visit a nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or residential care facility other than for the purpose of securing care. People over 60 years of age are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

What if I can’t get out of the home? How can I get supplies and food?

Please contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support. They are allowed to pick up any of your needs. You can also order food and other supplies, and have them delivered to your home. If you think you might be eligible for Meals on Wheels, call 254-752-0316 to start the eligibility intake process.

Can I leave home to go to my church, synagogue, or mosque?

Yes.

Does the order prevent me from going on a walk or taking a bike ride?

No. The Order allows you to go outside for exercise so long as you maintain social distancing (more than 6 feet from persons who are not part of your household). This includes activities like walks or hikes or bike rides or going to a park.

Can I leave home to exercise?

If you will be outdoors and not in close contact with other people, yes. Otherwise, no. Fitness centers, exercise gyms, recreational centers, and public pools are not allowed to operate. Sport games at parks including but not limited to basketball, football, baseball, and other contact sports are not allowed. Golf course operations are approved, but more than 4 individuals should not be gathered at one time.

Can I go shopping for things other than food/groceries?

Yes, but you should minimize unnecessary trips.

Can I go to a bar/nightclub/theater?

Bars and nightclubs are not allowed to operate under the local order and under the Governor’s order. Movie theaters are considered a “re-opened business” and may operate at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy for any individual theater for any screening.

Can I go to a restaurant, café, coffee or tea shop, ice cream shop, or other food service location?

Yes, dine in services are limited to 25 percent of the establishment’s listed total occupancy. You may also pick up food or drink curbside or to-go.

Will hair and nail salons, barbershops, esthetician services, and other related businesses be allowed to open (including tanning salons)?

No. Those types of businesses are not defined as “Essential Businesses” or “Re-Opened Businesses” at this time.

Can I walk my dog/pet?

Yes. Be sure that you distance yourself at least six feet from others who are not part of your household.

Can I go to a vet or pet hospital if my pet is sick?

Yes. Please call first to determine if the vet has any restrictions in place.

How can I access free or reduced price meals for myself or my family?

Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food or meals to the public are encouraged to continue providing these services.

Can I take my kids to the park and can we use playgrounds?

The Order allows you to engage in outdoor activities, provided that you maintain adequate social distancing. Playgrounds, fitness equipment, and basketball courts remain closed. See the Parks and Recreation homepage for the status of other Parks amenities.

Can I carry out a court-ordered visit with my kids?

Yes. The Order exempts travel by court order or law enforcement.

Can and should I donate blood if I am healthy?

Yes, blood banks, blood donation centers, and blood drives are exempt healthcare operations. If you are healthy and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you are encouraged to donate. The need for adequate blood donations from healthy people is critical.

Questions about businesses, employment & government operations

Will all business offices and stores be required to close?

No. “Essential businesses” and “Re-Opened Businesses” may be open. “Re-Opened Businesses” are limited to 25 percent of their total listed occupancy. Please refer to the Occupancy Calculator available at COVIDWaco.com if you do not know your listed occupancy.

Non-essential businesses may keep facilities open to maintain minimum basic operations, such as maintaining the value of an inventory, keeping the site secure, performing administrative work, or ensuring that employees are able to work remotely. Non-essential retail businesses that are not considered a “Re-Opened Business” may deliver or ship merchandise to customers.
The Order does not prohibit any employees from working from home.

What are “Essential Businesses”?

The Order provides the following list of “Essential Businesses”:

  • Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;
  • Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
  • Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  • Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
  • Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
  • Banks and related financial institutions;
  • Hardware stores;
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  • Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
  • Laundromats, drycleaners, and laundry service providers;
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not allow the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
  • Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
  • Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as allowed. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:
    • Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day).
    • Children shall not change from one group to another.
    • If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other.
    • Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.
    • Utilities, telecommunications, trash collection and disposal, law enforcement, EMS/ambulance, corrections ,dispatch, animal shelters, governmental employees who have not been specifically deemed non-essential and sent home by the government entity;
    • Janitorial and maintenance services, funeral industry, defense industry, space and technology industry, technology support, and scientific research; and
    • Religious services provided in residences, Healthcare Operations, at funerals, or provided online while being broadcast from a religious facility.

What businesses are considered re-opened?

  • Retail businesses that are not Essential Businesses may provide retail services through pick up, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep or by in-store retail services at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the business.
  • Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food are allowed to provide dine-in services but only at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy.
    • If your business meets the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s requirement to post the 51 percent sign then your establishment is not considered at this time.
    • Valet services should not be provided at any restaurant or food service establishment unless for vehicles with placards or plates for disabled parking.
  • Movie theaters may operate at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy per individual theater per screening.
  •  Shopping malls may open at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the mall except that:
    • Food-court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings should remain closed.
  • Museums and libraries may open at 25 percent of the listed occupancy except that:
    • Interactive components or functions such as child play areas should remain closed.
  • Individuals who were alone in an office.
  • Golf course operations, such that groups of more than 4 are not playing together.
  • Any other business allowed by future orders or proclamations by the Governor of the State of Texas.

What if I don’t know the total listed occupancy for my building?

Please utilize the Occupancy Calculator to calculate your occupancy.

What if my business is not considered an Essential Business or Re-Opened Business? Does this Order require that I shut down my business facility?

You and your employees are allowed to perform “Minimum Basic Operations” at your work place, so long as employees maintain a distance of six feet from one another to the greatest extent feasible. Minimum Basic Operations include maintaining the value of inventory, ensuring security, and ensuring that employees can work remotely. Other than to maintain “Minimum Basic Operations,” employees can only work remotely from their residences.

I am in the business of manufacturing food that I supply to grocery stores and other food retailers. Am I required to shut down?

No. All suppliers of essential businesses are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating. This includes businesses that supply food goods and prepared meals to grocery stores and other food retailers.

Does the Order require that businesses stop work that is necessary to our health care system?

No. The Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care.

Can my company continue construction on a health care facility?

Yes, the Order exempts any business that is performing work related to the delivery of health care.

My business principally manufactures, supplies, or repairs cell phones. Can it operate?

Yes. If your business is primarily engaged in supply or repair of cell phones or other telecommunications devices, then it is essential and may continue to operate under the Order.

Can landscaping services continue?

Yes.

Can car washes fully open?

Yes.

Are non-profit organizations allowed to continue operating?

If they provide essential services as described in the Order, then yes they can and should continue providing those services. This would include non-profits operating food pantries, providing housing for homeless residents, and providing other critical services.

I operate a “big box store” that sells some clothing in addition to groceries, electronics, and hardware. Do I need to shut down the part of my store that sells non-essential supplies?

No. You may keep your entire store open if it primarily sells essential goods and supplies like food and telecommunication supplies. Retail services that are not considered Essential Businesses may allow in-store retail services at 25 percent of their listed occupancy.

What if I have a cafeteria at my worksite. Can it continue to operate to serve workers who are carrying out work exempted in the Order?

The Cafeteria can operate like other food facilities. Food can be taken away to-go or dine services can operate at 25 percent of the listed occupancy. The cafeteria should follow the social distancing requirements in the Order.

Is the local government shutting down?

No, essential government functions will continue, including first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, law enforcement, inspections, solid waste services, and water utilities.

Other government functions or offices may be subject to reduced schedules or may be closed as part of the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19. Multiple city facilities are closed to the public. Please conduct as much City business online as you are able, or call ahead to make an appointment with the department you need to work with.

I work for the government—Can I continue to go to work?

Government employees can continue to go to work if they are designated as essential employees by their employer. Each government entity is responsible for determining which of its workers are essential workers.

What do I do if my employer requires me to go to work?

Many businesses are not allowed to operate under this Order. Essential Businesses, as defined in the Order, are allowed (and encouraged) to continue operating. If your work is not an Essential Business, you are not allowed to go to work and your employer is not allowed to require you to attend except to sustain Minimum Basic Operations, as that term is defined in the Order. You may work from home if your work allows.

I work in a hospital or medical clinic, but I’m not sure I’m essential. Should I continue to work? What if I’m over 60?

ALL employees of hospitals, clinics, and other organizations that provide healthcare, provide services to healthcare organizations, provide needed supplies to healthcare organizations, or otherwise maintain healthcare operations of all kinds may continue working.

The Order allows essential workers over 60 to continue working, even though others in that age group are being directed to stay home.

What do I do about my kids? I have to work.

Daycares are allowed to operate under guidance from the Department of State Health Services and according to the Governor’s Order; you can and should continue to work. Certain employers, schools, and community organizations are also providing childcare for employees of essential businesses. You may also employ a nanny or babysitter to provide home-based care for your kids.

Can bike repair shops continue to operate?

Yes, bike repair shops are treated as an essential business (the same as auto repair shops) because they are necessary to facilitate essential travel.

Can my company continue to provide janitorial services?

Yes, janitorial services are allowed as necessary to health and sanitation.

Can grocery stores, farmers markets, and other food retailers remain open?

Yes. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and similar food retail establishments are encouraged to remain open to provide food and pet supplies to the public. When visiting these establishments, please help retailers maintain at least six feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line.

If my child’s school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to go to the school to pick up the food or meals?

Yes.

Can warehouses and distribution centers that supply businesses that ship and deliver stay open?

Yes.

Can golf courses remain open?

Golf courses are allowed to operate. Groups of more than 4 should not be playing together at one time.

I work for an essential infrastructure organization—can I leave home to go to work?

Yes. You can go to work to maintain and operate essential infrastructure, including public works construction, construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness), airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services).

I run a construction company. Can we continue to build new units and perform renovations?

Yes. Construction is considered an essential service.

What if I want to go to work at a physical location in the City and I’m not sick?

Unless your work is exempted in the Order, you cannot go to work at a physical location in the City. You may work from home for any business if your employer allows it.

Can I operate a business that sells things that can be delivered to people’s homes? Can I shift more of my business to a delivery model?

Deliveries can continue to be sent to people’s homes, and you may adjust your business model accordingly while this Order is in place.

My business provides critical services and products for the federal government that we are required to provide on a time-certain basis--can we continue to manufacture these products or perform these services?

Employees and contractors of any governmental entity may continue to provide the services and products if the governmental entity determines that they are necessary to carry out an essential governmental function.

Are daycare facilities allowed to operate?

Yes, daycare and other childcare facilities may operate as normal in accordance with the guidance from the Department of State Health Services.

Can home service workers continue to provide their services?

Home service workers may provide services to residences if essential to health, safety, sanitation, or the necessary operation of the residence. Generally, this will mean that plumbing, maintenance (to, for example, fix an interior or exterior water leak), pest control, or similar services necessary to maintain a safe and sanitary household are permissible. Purely cosmetic and other non-essential home services should be deferred to minimize risk of transmission. Home based childcare is also allowed under the Order.

If I operate a non-essential business with a retail storefront, am I allowed to re-configure my business to deliver products to people’s homes?

Retail businesses are allowed to operate at 25 percent of their listed occupancy.

Retail businesses that are essential businesses are not subject to 25% occupancy (but many stores self-impose this or similar limits). Retail businesses that are nonessential are now “re-opened” and are subject to the 25% occupancy limit.

Can I continue to sell products to customers at my storefront?

Retail businesses are allowed to operate at 25 percent of their listed occupancy.

I am a nanny. Will I get in trouble if I go to work?

The Order allows nannies and babysitters caring for a child in the child’s own home to continue working.

Can notaries public continue to operate?

Yes.

Can title insurance companies continue to operate?

Yes.

QUESTIONS ABOUT TRAVEL

Can I get a ride in a ride share/on demand service or a taxi?

Yes, but these services can only be used for “essential activities,” to get to and from work to operate “essential businesses,” to provide “essential governmental functions,” or to visit “re-opened businesses” which are defined in the Order. Keep in mind that being in close quarters in a vehicle that has been shared with many others should be avoided if possible.

Can I take public transport (bus, subway, train)?

Yes, but public transit can only be used to perform “essential activities,” to get to and from work to operate “essential businesses,” to maintain “essential governmental functions,” or to visit “re-opened businesses.” When using public transport, you should maintain at least 6 feet distance from one another (2 or 3 steps away), including if you are on the bus.

Am I allowed to leave the areas covered by this Order to travel to/from a job outside the City? Does the Order allow me to leave the City?

Yes, but only to perform “essential activities,” operate “essential businesses,” to maintain “essential governmental functions,” or to visit “re-opened businesses” as those terms are defined in the Order. Otherwise, the answer is no because that puts you and others in the community at risk.

I am currently on traveling on vacation/for business outside the City—Does the Order allow me to return home?

Yes.

I’m visiting Waco and staying in a hotel, with family/friends, or in a short-term rental. What should I do? Can I go home?

Yes, you can leave the City for the purpose of returning home.

If I am currently outside the City, can I travel into the City?

You are subject to the same restrictions for travel as individuals currently in the City. You may travel into the City to perform “essential activities,” work to operate “essential businesses,” maintain “essential governmental functions,” or visit “re-opened businesses” as those terms are defined in the Order.

HOW WE'RE PROTECTING THE HOMELESS

What does the Order mean for Waco’s homeless population?

According to the Order, businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals are considered essential businesses. Individuals experiencing homelessness are strongly urged to obtain shelter. Shelters are also urged to utilize social distancing requirements in their operation.

OTHER QUESTIONS

What if I’m in a line and there isn’t six feet between me and others?

You should still try to maintain at least six feet between you and others. When that isn’t possible for short periods, do your best to keep the duration short. And be sure when in line you don’t sneeze or cough onto people. If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into an elbow with clothing on, not into your hand.

What if my plumbing gets stopped up or there is another problem with necessary equipment at my home? How will I access those sorts of services?

Call your plumber or building manager. This Order allows service providers like plumbers, electricians, and exterminators to keep working and providing their services to the public. To obtain supplies for a DIY solution, you can also visit your hardware store, which is allowed to stay open under this Order.

What do I do about my loved one who needs care from me?

You are allowed to provide care or to help out with getting supplies for loved ones, even if they do not live in your household. But do not provide care or pick up supplies if you are sick and someone else can help them. If you are sick, please try to self-isolate or take other steps not to expose anyone else to your illness.

Are funerals allowed?

Funerals may proceed with the minimum number of attendees present. Funerals must be conducted in strict compliance with the social distancing requirements set forth in the Order.

Can residents of group living facilities like senior living facilities and shelters eat their meals in dining halls or cafeterias?

If facilities include separate units or rooms that allow for residents to eat their meals in those units or rooms, dine-in services are limited to 25 percent of the listed occupancy or food must be served on a take-away basis. If food consumption in individual units or rooms is not feasible or advisable, then residents may eat their meals in dining halls or cafeterias. Facilities should adhere to the social distancing requirements to the maximum extent feasible, including when residents are waiting in line for their food.