Governor Greg Abbott issued a new Executive Order GA 14 relating to statewide continuity of essential services and activities during the COVID-19 disaster. The executive order supersedes any conflicting order issued by local officials in response to the COVID-19 disaster to the extent that such a local order restricts essential services allowed by the executive order. The executive order is effective from April 2, 2020, through April 30, 2020, subject to extension based on the status of COVID-19 in Texas and the recommendations of the CDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Under the executive order, essential services may still operate. The following construction-related services are considered to be essential services:
- renewable energy infrastructure construction;
- new and existing petroleum industry, natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGL), propane, and other liquid fuels construction projects, including pipeline construction and onshore and offshore platform and drilling construction;
- natural gas, NGL, propane, and other liquid fuels waste disposal construction and transmission and distribution pipeline construction;
- construction of critical or strategic infrastructure;
- services provided by plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, and others that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals, senior living facilities;
- any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response;
- infrastructure construction and restoration, including contractors for construction and engineering of fiber optic cables, buried conduit, small cells, other wireless facilities, and other communications sector-related infrastructure, including construction of new facilities;
- construction of essential global, national and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, financial transactions/services, web-based services, and critical manufacturing;
- construction for essential products, services, and supply chain and COVID 19 relief efforts; and
- housing construction, including those supporting government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting and plan review services that can be modified to protect the public health, but fundamentally should continue and serve the construction of housing (e.g., allow qualified private third-party inspections in case of government shutdown).