Houston area reaches 285 COVID-19 cases; Counties issue stay at home orders

The stay at home orders in Houston area counties are now in effect as you wake up this morning, and the number of cases in the area, as expected, continues to go up.

Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Liberty Counties are all under stay at home orders .

Workers for essential businesses can go to work. These businesses include: Grocery stores; restaurants for pickup; gas stations, convenience stores, and liquor stores. A complete list of essential businesses is HERE.

You can see your doctor and refill prescriptions. Elective medical procedures have been delayed.

Parks will stay open but you must maintain social distancing, especially if you are running or exercising.

Violators could face a thousand dollar fine or six months in jail. HPD Chief Art Acevedo hopes it doesn't come to that.

“We are going to use common sense,” Acevedo said. “We are going to use courtesy and we are going to ask people when they think they are doing something that is a violation of this order. We are going to ask people to comply and we believe that by using some compassion and some common courtesy, we will be able to be just fine.”

Not everyone is happy with the shut down. State Senator Paul Bettencourt told KTRH we are not just flattening the curve.

"Now what we are doing is flattening the economy, and that's something that's going to be very difficult to recover from as well," he stated.

Montgomery County has yet to issue a stay at home order. County Judge Mark Keough has extended the disaster declaration there, and placed restrictions on restaurants while closing businesses like gyms.

The Houston area now has as many 285 cases of COVID-19; Harris County has 79, Houston has 55. The area has 21 recoveries. The state has more than 700 cases with 11 deaths.

And if you are going to work, Harris County has waived all tolls while the stay at home order is in effect.

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