Galveston County continues to seek the safest way to mitigate the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on our community. As we move through the process of societal restoration, it is imperative that we continue to take personal responsibility for our part in ensuring that everything possible is done to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

When the State of Texas allows businesses to reopen, business owners and the community at large should do their part in reducing the risk of additional COVID–19 outbreaks that would shut them down again.

With that in mind, Galveston County, in coordination with the Local Health Authority, Dr. Phillip Keiser, has developed the following guidelines for businesses and organizations to use as a reference. We encourage each business and organization to use their best judgement and implement their own mitigation strategies and techniques as we move forward together. These guidelines are a minimum set of recommendations that businesses and organizations can use in developing their individual operational plans.


Table of Contents


Guiding Principles

Galveston County remains committed to putting the health and safety of its residents, employees, first responders, and health care professionals first. We strongly encourage citizens to follow the guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to slow the spread of COVID–19. Everyone should do their part by taking personal responsibility to protect themselves and those around them.

Current CDC Recommendations

  1. Avoid having more than 10 people in a group.
  2. In locations where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, persons over the age of two should wear a face covering or paper mask that covers both their mouth and nose.
  3. Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  4. Monitor your health and stay home if you or a member of your household is sick.
  5. Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet away from people who do not live in your home.
  6. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.
  7. Throughout the day, frequently clean and disinfect workspaces, common spaces, and high touch areas. (Chairs, tables, handles, light switches, credit card keypads, countertops, phones, bathrooms, kitchens, equipment, and amusement rides.)
  8. Daily deep clean the entire premises, including a full scrub down using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered disinfectants.

For additional information go to the CDC website.


Initial Recommendations

Nursing Homes

Nursing Homes, Long Term Care and Medical Facilities should continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the Local Health Authority and the Texas Department of State Health Services. At this time, there is an order in effect preventing outside visitors into these high-risk locations. We encourage that these facilities continue limiting visitations due to the risk to their residents.

Restaurants

Restaurants, including those that derive more than 50% of their income from the sale of food, are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All dining spaces should be arranged to allow a minimum of 6 feet of distance between dining parties.
  2. To control the size of crowds and eliminate a waiting line, reservations for all guests are strongly encouraged, which should include COVID–19 screening questions.
  3. Large parties of more than 10 persons are not recommended.
  4. Outdoor service should be offered if available, using the same standards as indoor service.
  5. To prevent contamination, all buffet style restaurants should have employees serve food directly at customer’s tables or packaged for take-out.
  6. Each restaurant should provide customers with either hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes at the entrance and throughout the facility.
  7. Table top items such as condiments, menus and table tents should be removed and sanitized between customers.
  8. Encourage the development of protocols to reduce the risk of exposure during activities like taking payments and accepting merchandise. Ensure high touch items are sanitized regularly.
  9. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  10. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  11. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  12. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Bars

Bars, this includes establishments that derive more than 50% of their income from the sale of liquor, are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:
1. Bars should provide adequate space for all guests or their contained groups to remain 6 feet apart at all times.
2. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
3. There should be no activities that encourage the defiance of the social distancing guidelines outlined by the CDC.
4. Outdoor service should be offered if available, using the same standards as indoor service.
5. 5. Encourage the development of protocols to reduce the risk of exposure during activities like taking payments and accepting merchandise. Ensure high touch items are sanitized regularly.
6. Each bar should provide customers with hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes at the entrance and throughout the facility.
7. To prevent contamination, all food typically served on buffets should be served directly to the customers at their tables or packaged for take-out.
8. Table top items such as condiments, menus and table tents should be removed and sanitized between customers.
9. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
10. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
11. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, and Short Term Rentals

Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, and Short Term Rentals are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All guests should observe social distancing guidelines and remain 6 feet apart in any public areas while on the property.
  2. All guest quarters should provide adequate soap and/or hand sanitization products for guests.
  3. No gatherings of more than 10 people who do not share a household.
  4. If pools are opened, social distancing should be practiced at all times by those who are swimming with persons who are not members of their own household.
  5. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  6. Each establishment should provide customers with either hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes at all entrances.
  7. Equipment such as kiosks, video games, coin operated machines, vending machines and seating areas should be sanitized throughout the day and arranged to promote social distancing.
  8. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  9. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  10. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Major Attractions

Major Attractions such as amusement parks, water parks, entertainment venues, educational destinations, tourist attractions, large fishing charters, movie theaters and other like attractions that bring large crowds are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All patrons should observe social distancing guidelines and remain 6 feet apart from persons who are not members of their own household in all public areas of the property.
  2. No gatherings of more than 10 people who are not in the same household or group.
  3. If pools are opened, social distancing should be practiced at all times by those who are swimming with persons who are not members of their own household.
  4. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  5. Encourage the development of protocols to reduce the risk of exposure during activities like taking payments and accepting merchandise. Ensure high touch items are sanitized regularly.
  6. Equipment such as kiosks, video games, coin operated machines, vending machines and seating areas should be sanitized throughout the day and arranged to promote social distancing.
  7. Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes should be available at the entrance to community spaces and throughout the premises.
  8. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  9. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  10. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Retail Establishments

Retail Establishments are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:
1. Consider using curbside or delivery options whenever possible.
2. All employees should exercise social distancing of at list 6 feet from all other employees at all
times.
3. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
4. Encourage the development of protocols to reduce the risk of exposure during activities like taking payments and accepting merchandise. Ensure high touch items are sanitized regularly.
5. Equipment such as kiosks, video games, coin operated machines, vending machines and seating areas should be sanitized throughout the day and arranged to promote social distancing.
6. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
7. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
8. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

RV Parks and Marinas

RV Parks and Marinas are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All residents and guests should observe social distancing guidelines and remain 6 feet apart in any public areas of the property.
  2. If pools are opened, social distancing should be practiced at all times by those who are swimming with persons who are not members of their own household.
  3. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  4. Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes should be available at the entrance to community spaces at all times.
  5. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  6. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  7. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Golf Courses

Golf Courses are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All golfers should maintain social distancing and stay a minimum of 6 feet apart at all times.
  2. No golfers should share a cart unless both golfers reside in the same household.
  3. Spacing between tee times should allow adequate for social distancing on the course.
  4. All carts should be sanitized between users.
  5. Encourage the development of protocols to reduce the risk of exposure during activities like taking payments and accepting merchandise. Ensure high touch items are sanitized regularly.
  6. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  7. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  8. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Commercial Fishing

Commercial Fishing piers that charge for use, are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. No gatherings of more than 10 people who do not share a household.
  2. Social distancing should be practiced at all times with a minimum of 6 feet between parties who are not of the same household, including entering and exiting the pier.
  3. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  4. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  5. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Personal Services

Personal Services such as barbershops, beauty parlors, lash and nail salons, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, massage parlors and any other services that require personal contact are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. In order to maintain social distancing, “walk-ins” should be discouraged. Appointments should be encouraged and spaced to allow the business to maintain a population in line with the CDC social distancing guidelines.
  2. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  3. Encourage the development of protocols to reduce the risk of exposure during activities like taking payments and accepting merchandise. Ensure high touch items are sanitized regularly.
  4. Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes should be available at the entrance and at each station.
  5. All stations should be sanitized between users.
  6. Service providers should wash hands and sanitize all equipment between customers.
  7. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  8. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  9. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Gyms and Fitness Centers

Gyms and Fitness Centers are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes should be available at the entrance and throughout common areas at all times.
  2. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  3. Use of saunas and steam rooms should be discouraged unless provisions can be made by the gym for sanitizing those facilities between users and to maintain social distancing when in use.
  4. If pools are opened, social distancing should be practiced at all times by those who are swimming with persons who are not members of their own household.
  5. Instructor-led group fitness classes should consider scheduling a maximum class size of 10 and maintaining physical distance of 6 feet at all times.
  6. All stations and equipment should be sanitized between users.
  7. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  8. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  9. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Parks and Recreational Areas

Parks and Recreational Areas are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All persons should observe social distancing and remain 6 feet apart in all public areas.
  2. Gatherings of more than 10 people who do not share a household should be discouraged.
  3. If pools are opened, social distancing should be practiced at all times by those who are swimming with persons who are not members of their own household.
  4. Tennis courts should have protocols in place to sanitize gates and high touch areas regularly.
  5. Consider limiting access to playground equipment.
  6. Consider closing indoor park facilities including restrooms.
  7. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  8. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  9. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Professional Services

Professional Services such as financial services, legal offices, real estate, insurance, medical practices, etc…, are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All persons should exercise social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other persons, at all times.
  2. If possible, consider using remote work options or virtual appointments.
  3. Consider spacing scheduled appointments to avoid having persons wait in common areas.
  4. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  5. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your business, per CDC guidelines.
  6. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Governmental Agencies

Governmental Agencies are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All persons should exercise social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other persons, at all times.
  2. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  3. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises throughout the day.
  4. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your agency, per CDC guidelines.
  5. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Industry and Manufacturers

Industry and Manufacturers are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All persons should exercise social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other persons, at all times.
  2. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  3. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises, throughout the day.
  4. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your facility, per CDC guidelines.
  5. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Churches, Schools, Organizations or Other Entities

Churches, Schools, Organizations, or Other Entities are encouraged to consider the following recommendations:

  1. All persons should exercise social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other persons, at all times.
  2. Consider controlled access to maintain an occupancy level, per square footage, that complies with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.
  3. Encourage the development of protocols to reduce the risk of exposure by sanitizing high touch items regularly.
  4. Daily deep cleaning, as well as frequent disinfection of the entire premises, throughout the day.
  5. Develop a COVID–19 screening questionnaire appropriate for your organization.
  6. Daily pre-screening of employees for symptoms, close contact with a confirmed COVID–19 case or a body temperature over 99.9°.

Additional Resources Available