Reopening Waco

Please check with your city regarding specific rules.
Many requirements are county-wide, but some may have changed.
These requirements are for Waco only.

Face coverings and/or masks required for commercial businesses in Waco

For a business to be compliant in Waco:

  1. You must adopt a Health and Safety Policy as described in the order. At a minimum, the policy must require all employees and visitors to wear a face covering in your business when you cannot ensure sufficient social/physical distancing (6 feet between persons from different households).
  2. You must notify your employees and visitors of the policy by posting signage in a conspicuous location (for example, at the entrance to the business, in employee breakrooms, at job sites, and at points of sale). TEMPLATE SIGNS FOR PRINT BELOW.
  3. You must implement the policy by:
    • Notifying your employees and visitors of the policy;
    • Requiring your employees to wear a face covering while at work when maintaining sufficient physical distance from another person is impossible or unlikely; and
    • Requiring visitors to wear a face covering when visiting your business or facilities.

Any concerns about enforcement (in Waco) can call (254) 750-5970.

About the order:

This supplement to the disaster declaration was made in response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases within McLennan County.

    • In a matter of seven days, the active COVID-19 case count has increased from 25 cases on 6/12/2020 to 118 on 6/19/2020.
    • In addition recently, McLennan County had its sixth fatality attributed to COVID-19.
  • It is important to issue this order now in order to have the greatest possible effect on reducing the spread of COVID-19 WITHOUT another shelter-in-place order, which none of us want.

Key measures of the order:

  • Businesses are to comply by June 26th.
  • All employees or visitors to the business or other facilities must wear face coverings when in an area or performing an activity which involves close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible.
  • Face coverings may include homemade masks, scarfs, bandanas, or a handkerchief.
  • Employees, visitors, and all residents of the City of Waco should continue physical distancing of at least six feet while outside your home.
  • City employees are also required to wear face coverings under the same circumstances as the public.
  • Encourage the public to work to protect our neighbors, friends, and family members by adhering to this order.

In order to reduce the continued increase in cases within McLennan County getting the COVID-19 virus, it is critical that ALL residents do their part by following these and other guidelines established by health authorities.

Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

  • When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside.
  • While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver.
  • When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk.
    • NOTE: For privacy reasons, people can voluntarily disclose their medical condition to the business and it would be at the discretion of the business as to whether they allow entry.
  • While operating outdoor equipment or pumping gas.
  • While in a building or participating in an activity that requires security surveillance, screening, or identification, for example, banks. When consuming food or drink.

Churches:

  • Churches and places of worship are not considered commercial businesses, therefore this order does not apply to them. (Addressed in paragraph 3.)
  • We do hope they will consider wearing face coverings as a best practice, however.

Questions? Concerns about safety?
Please call (254) 750-5970.

McLennan County questions about enforcement: (254) 757-5049.

Questions about testing, not feeling well and/or symptoms: (254) 750-1890.

Governor Abbott's Phased Approach to Reopening

Waco and McLennan County are following the phased approach set forth by the State of Texas.

Minimum Recommended Health Protocols (PDFs)

from the Texas Department of State Health Human Services

In accordance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders GA-21 and GA-18, the following are the minimum recommended health protocols for Texas.

Effective May 1, 2020

The following protocols, effective 5/1/2020, were revised on 5/5/2020:

Effective May 5, 2020

Effective May 8, 2020

Effective May 18, 2020

Health Protocol Checklist for Individuals

  • Maintain at least 6 feet separation from other individuals not within the same household.
  • If such distancing is not feasible, other measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be rigorously practiced.
  • Self-screen before going into a business for any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms
    of possible COVID-19:

    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty
      breathing
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Diarrhea
    • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Wash or disinfect hands upon entering a business and after any interaction with employees, other customers, or items in the business.
  • Consistent with the actions taken by many individuals across the state, consider wearing cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth) when entering a business, or when within 6 feet of another person who is not a member of the individual’s household.
  • If available, individuals should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.

Health Protocol Checklist for Employers

  • Train all employees on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
  • Screen employees before coming into the business:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty
      breathing
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste or smell
    • Diarrhea
    • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19
  • Do not allow employees with the new or worsening signs or symptoms listed above to return to work until:
    • In the case of an employee who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to
      work when all three of the following criteria are met: at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); and the individual has improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; or

      • In the case of an employee who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to
        have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to work until the individual has completed the same three-step criteria listed above; or
      • If the employee has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to work before
        completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.
  • Do not allow an employee with known close contact to a person who is lab-confirmed to have
    COVID-19 to return to work until the end of the 14 day self-quarantine period from the last date of exposure (with an exception granted for healthcare workers and critical infrastructure
    workers).
  • Have employees wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the business.
  • Have employees maintain at least 6 feet separation from other individuals. If such distancing is not
    feasible, other measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be rigorously practiced.
  • If an employer provides a meal for employees, employers are recommended to have the meal individually packed for each employee.
  • Consistent with the actions taken by many employers across the state, consider having all employees wear cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth). If available, employees should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.