Executive Orders and Declarations




May 18: Governor Abbott announces Phase Two To Open Texas. 

Governor Greg Abbott announced the second phase of the State of Texas’ ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase II, restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50% and additional services and activities that remained closed under Phase I may open with restricted occupancy levels and minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Visit https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-announces-phase-two-to-open-texas to read press release.

May 5: Governor Abbott Expands Business Openings In Texas

On Tuesday, May 5, Governor Greg Abbott announced some modifications and clarifications to his Executive Order issued on April 27.

In an effort to continue his plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Abbott will allow cosmetology salons, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, tanning salons and shops to reopen beginning Friday, May 8, 2020.

In addition, gyms other exercise facilities, non-essential manufacturers and office buildings will be allowed to reopen on Monday, May 18, at 25% capacity. 

Gov. Abbott did not mention a specific date for when bars would be allowed to reopen. However, he is working with business owners to find solutions to social/physical distancing inside the establishments.

These newly opened services are subject to recommended minimum standard health protocols outlined by DSHS. These protocols will be available at https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas

Also, the Texas Education Agency provided new guidance on class of 2020 graduation ceremonies for Texas school districts. Full details of the TEA’s graduation ceremony guidance can be found at https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/graduation_ceremonies_5.5.pdf

To read full press release, please visit 


April 27: Governor Abbott Announces Phase One To Open Texas 

On Monday, April 27, Greg Abbott signed Executive Order GA-18 that explains the first phase of the State of Texas’ ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Phase one will begin Friday May 1 and continue until at least May 18. The Governor will continue to evaluate next steps for the state.

The Executive Order allows retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums and libraries to reopen beginning May 1 with a limited occupancy of no more than 25%. Barbershops, beauty salons, bars and gyms must remain closed until at least May 18.

On May 18, more businesses will be able to open at 50% capacity if data shows that coronavirus spread is contained during the first two weeks implementing these new safety measures. 

The Governor’s announcement is accompanied by Texans Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas. This detailed report helps Texans understand phase one by outlining the new protocols, guidance, and recommendations. 

In providing or obtaining essential services or reopened services, people and businesses should follow the minimum standard health protocols recommended by DSHS, found at www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus, and should implement social distancing, work from home if possible, and practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.

Governor Abbott also relaxed certain restrictions related to health care professionals and issued amended requirements related to hospital capacity. Read Executive Order G-19 here: https://www.clearlakeshores-tx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/843/Executive-Order-GA-19

Additionally, the Governor issued  Executive Order GA-20 to eliminate the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for individuals traveling from Louisiana. Read Executive Order G-20 here: https://www.clearlakeshores-tx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/844/Executive-Order-GA-20

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he will allow his statewide “stay-at-home” order to expire on April 30.

April 21, 2020: Mayor Otten and City Council extended Declaration of a Local State of Disaster to May 12

On Tuesday, April 21st, Clear Lake Shores Mayor Kurt Otten and City Council extended the Declaration of a Local State of Disaster to May 12, 2020. After the expiration of the Declaration, the City will continue to follow recommendations and guidance from Galveston County and the State of Texas. Click here to read Declaration.

 On Friday, April 17, 2020 Governor Greg Abbott  issued three new Executive Orders to begin the process of reopening the state of Texas while revising hospital capacity and certain social distancing guidelines. To align with the Governor’s Executive Order, the City of Clear Lake Shores is preparing a local phased plan to safely reopen businesses in our community.

 The reopening plan will follow Galveston County and State of Texas recommendations to ensure the safety and health of our residents and avoid the spread of COVID-19.

 “The health and safety of our residents is our main priority,” City Administrator Brent Spier said. “We want to ensure our community that the phased plan to reopen businesses in CLS will be implemented in a way that poses minimal to no threat of spreading COVID-19 in accordance with other orders from the state and county”

 At this time, the stay-at-home order remains in effect until April 30th unless continued or renewed by the State of Texas.

April 17, 2020: Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order Establishing Strike Force To Open Texas

On Friday, April 17, 2020 Governor Greg Abbott  issued three new Executive Orders to begin the process of reopening the state of Texas while revising hospital capacity and certain social distancing guidelines. 

Within the orders, select activities and services that pose minimal to no threat of spreading COVID-19 are allowed to reopen using a "Retail-To-Go" model, certain restrictions on surgeries have been loosened, and schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Within these orders, the Governor has established the Strike Force to Open Texas—a team of nationally recognized medical experts and private and public leaders who will advise the Governor on safely and strategically reopening the state of Texas.

The strike force will immediately begin providing input on potential additional openings of activities and services in Texas consistent with guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Governor will announce a revised plan for the state based on these initial recommendations on April 27.  

The Governor’s second Executive Order (GA-16) relates to the safe, strategic reopening of select services and activities in Texas. This order establishes a temporary "Retail-To-Go" model that will allow retail outlets in Texas to reopen beginning Friday, April 24. Under this model, reopened establishments are required to deliver items to customer’s cars, homes, or other locations to minimize contact.

Under this Executive Order, schools — including public, private, and higher education institutions — will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers may go into the classroom for video instruction, to perform administrative duties, and to clean out their classrooms.

The Governor’s third Executive Order (GA-15) relates to hospital capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the COVID-19 response. 

The Governor also directed state parks to reopen on Monday, April 20 with strict guidelines to reduce transmission of COVID-19 – including requiring visitors to wear face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, and prohibiting the gathering of groups larger than five.

Visit https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-order-establishing-strike-force-to-open-texas to read press release.

Click here to read Executive Order GA-17 Strike Force to Open Texas:


Click here to read Executive Order GA-16 relating to the safe, strategic reopening of select
services as the first step to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster:


Click here to read Executive Order GA-15 relating to hospital capacity during the COVID-19disaster:


April 2, 2020: Clear Lake Shores Mayor Kurt Otten and City Council today extended the Declaration of a Local State of Disaster to April 30, 2020. 

The revision was made in response to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols, and Galveston County Judge Mark Henry’s new “Order of Essential Services and Activities.” Read Declaration here

Both Governor Abbott’s statewide executive order and the new “Order of Essential Services and Activities” for Galveston County became effective on April 2nd, 2020 at 12:01am and will last until April 30th, 2020.

Click here to read Galveston County Order of Essential Services and Activitieshttps://www.clearlakeshores-tx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/792/April-1-Galveston-County-Order-of-Essential-Services-and-Activities

MARCH 31, 2020: Governor Greg Abbott  issued an Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for the entire state of Texas.

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott  issued an Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols for the entire state of Texas. The protocols direct all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household. 

The Governor’s Executive Order renews and amends his previous order enforcing federal social distancing guidelines for COVID-19, including closing schools and instructing Texans to avoid eating or drinking at bars and restaurants. The protocols allow exceptions for essential activities and services based on the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. 

Examples of these essential services include healthcare, grocery stores, banking and financial services, utilities, child care for essential service employees, and government services. TDEM will maintain an online list of essential services specified in the Governor’s Executive Order at www.tdem.texas.gov/essentialservices/. Other essential services may be added to this list with the approval of TDEM.

The Executive Order follows the decision by President Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to enhance social distancing guidelines and extend the deadline for these guidelines to April 30th.

In accordance with federal guidelines, people are still prohibited from visiting nursing home, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance. Additionally, schools will remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance through May 4, 2020.

Click here to view Governor’s Executive Order: https://www.clearlakeshores-tx.gov/…/MARCH-31-Statewide-Ess…

MARCH 26, 2020: 14-Day Quarantine For Travelers Arriving to Texas From New York Tri-State Area, New Orleans

On March 26, 2020, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order mandating a self-quarantine of 14 days for individuals traveling to Texas as their final destination through an airport from the Tri-State Area of New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut as well as the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. During this period, a quarantined person shall not allow visitors into or out of the designated quarantine location, other than a physician or healthcare provider, and cannot visit any public spaces. These mandatory self-quarantines will last a period of 14 days or for the duration of a person’s presence in Texas, whichever is shorter. Read order here: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-order-mandating-14-day-quarantine-for-travelers-arriving-from-new-york-tri-state-area-new-orleans2

MARCH 23, 2020: Galveston County issues stay-at-home order to reduce spread of COVID-19

On Tuesday, March 23, 2020, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry issued a stay-at-home order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The order, signed by Clear Lake Shores Mayor Kurt Otten, will be effective 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020, until 11:59 p.m.  Friday, April 3, 2020.

This action orders the following:

  • All individuals currently living within Galveston County are ordered to remain at their place of residence. Galveston County residents may leave their homes only to perform any of the following essential activities:
  1. To obtain medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies need to work from home.
  2. To obtain necessary services or supplies such as food, pet supply, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
  3. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with social distancing requirements of six feet (for example, walking, biking, hiking, or running).
  4. To care for a family member or pet in another household. Click here to read more activities that qualify as essential activities. 
  • All businesses operating within Galveston County, except Essential Businesses are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the County. Click here to read which businesses qualify as “essential businesses.”
  • All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.
  • Restaurants with or without drive-in or drive-through services and microbreweries, micro-distilleries, or wineries may only provide take out, delivery, or drive-through services as allowed by law.
  • Religious and worship services may only be provided by video and teleconference.
  • All elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures are prohibited anywhere in Galveston County.
  • This order suspends all delivery hour restrictions for transport to or from any entity involved in the selling or distribution of food products, medicine, or medical supplies in Galveston County for the next 60 days.
  • If someone in a household has tested positive for coronavirus, the household is ordered to isolate at home for 14 days until or unless otherwise directed by the Local Health Authority.
  • Nursing homes, retirement, and long-term care facilities are instructed by this order to prohibit non-essential visitors from accessing their facilities unless to provide critical assistance or for end-of-life visitation.
  • Tolls are waived at the San Luis Pass toll booth during the duration of this Disaster.

Click here to read complete order. (Link here)

MARCH 19, 2020: Bars and restaurants to close per Governor’s executive order

On March 19, 2020, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott  issued four executive orders to slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state. The executive orders require all Texas bars, gyms, and restaurants to close. Drive-thru, pickup, or delivery is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.

The following executive orders apply to Clear Lake Shores  and will become effective 11:59 pm Friday, March 20 through 11:59 pm Friday, April 3, unless extended, modified or amended. Read executive order here: https://www.clearlakeshores-tx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/720/Governors-Executive-Order-GA-08---Covid192

MARCH 18, 2020: City of Clear Lake Shores declares Local State of Disaster in response to spread of COVID-19

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Mayor Kurt Otten signed a Declaration of a Local State of Disaster. The declaration activates the City Emergency Management Plan and shall continue for a period of not more than seven days unless continued or renewed by City Council. The declaration also allows the City to make immediate decisions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The City’s Emergency Operations Center is currently requiring departments to evaluate all aspects of City operations to ensure the continuity of essential City services. Police, Fire, EMS, and Water/Wastewater external services remain operational. Read declaration here

MARCH 13, 2020: State of Disaster declaration

On Friday, March 13th, Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster as there are more than 50 confirmed cases of the virus. In addition, Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation suspending provisions of the Texas Election Code to allow political subdivisions to postpone their 2020 local elections. Clear Lake Shores will postpone their May 2, 2020 elections until November 3, 2020 and will follow November 3rd election guidelines. Read declaration here: https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/DISASTER_covid19_disaster_proclamation_IMAGE_03-13-2020.pdf