The importance of social distancing - A message from the Clear Lake Shores Police Department
On April 2, 2020, Clear Lake Shores Mayor Kurt Otten and City Council 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.”
The protocols direct all Texans to minimize non-essential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.
The Clear Lake Shores Police Department has received complaints from concerned citizens reporting residents not observing the social distancing order set forth by the State of Texas, Galveston County and the City of Clear Lake Shores.
The main goal of the Clear Lake Shores Police Department is to serve our community, reduce the spread of the disease and protect public safety. Therefore, CLSPD will continue to educate the public about the importance of social distancing measures and the regulations of the stay-at home order.
A resident is violating the stay-at-home order if:
- The resident is outside his home performing a non-essential activity.
- The resident is performing an essential activity but not complying with the social distancing guidelines (staying 6ft apart from each person and gathering in groups of 10 or less).
- The resident is holding a public or private gathering of any number of people outside his single household.
- Restaurants and other essential businesses are violating the stay-at-home executive order if they don’t follow the appropriate social distancing precautions.
Important: The social distancing guidelines were created for individuals who must leave their home to perform an essential activity. Practicing social distancing guidelines while performing a non-essential activity is also violating the Executive Order. Law enforcement will intervene if they witness or receive reports of residents or businesses violating the stay-at-home order.
Residents who do not comply with the stay-at-home order could face up to 180 days in jail or a $1,000 fine. The Clear Lake Shores Police Department will only use the criminal justice approach as a last resort.
As this pandemic intensifies, we must be vigilant in educating and persuading the public to comply with the stay-at-home orders. Our focus is to educate the public and we are hopeful no enforcement action is necessary.
The City of Clear Lake Shores was notified yesterday by the Galveston County Health District that one Clear Lake Shores resident has tested positive for COVID-19. This makes the city’s first positive case of COVID-19.
We strongly urge citizens to voluntarily comply with the directives from the State and County governments, as well as follow CDC guidelines. Following this order will protect your family, our first responders and our island.
As a reminder here’s a list of the current stay-at-home order regulations:
What activities are considered essential?
- Going to the doctor
- Going to the grocery store
- Exercising (not in groups)
- Obtaining medical supplies
- Caring for a family member or pet in another household
- Going to work
If you are not doing any of those activities, you should not be outside your home.
What does this mean for our residents?
Can I visit my neighbor?
No. All public or private gatherings outside your household are prohibited. (This excludes caring for a family member, friend or pet from a different household)
Can I go to the pool or the park?
Exercising is considered an essential activity. We encourage our residents to exercise and take a break from this pandemic. The Police Department will respectfully ask residents to leave a park if they are not complying with social distancing standards. The Clear Lake Shores swimming pool is now closed until further notice. Playground equipment and smaller structures are also off limits to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Can I ride my golf cart around the island?
Yes, you and members of your household can drive around the island on the golf cart. Don’t forget to comply with the social distancing guidelines, including maintaining six foot social distancing. Public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.
How should I handle food pickup and takeout?
Restaurants can continue to offer takeout and delivery options. If you are waiting on your food to be ready, please try to stay in your vehicle to avoid group gathering of any kind.
If you have any questions regarding the stay-at-home order, don’t hesitate to contact the Clear Lake Shores Police Department at 281-334-1034.