Bell County COVID-19 FAQ
**Responses are subject to change**
Revised 03/30/2020 @ 5:00PM
What are Essential Activities?
- to engage in activities or perform tasks essential to the health and safety of self or other family members or household members
- to obtain necessary services or supplies for self, family or household members or to deliver those services or supplies to others
- to engage in outdoor activities like walking, biking or hiking
- to perform work providing essential products or services or carry out activities related to the Judge’s order
- to care for a family member or pet in another household
What are Essential Businesses?
- Healthcare operations
- Government functions
- Critical infrastructure & activities
- Essential Retail
Which businesses are closed?
- Bell County Public Health is not currently accepting new septic applications or reviewing plats at this time.
- For any other businesses not listed above, questions can be directed to 254-933-5203 or 2-1-1
When are updates available?
- Bell County Public Health District website bellcountyhealth.org will update by 2pm daily
- Press conferences are scheduled as needed
- Watch the local media for information
What are the most common symptoms of COVID-19?
The following symptoms may occur after 2-14 days of exposure:
- Fever, cough, shortness of breath
- Fever can be low grade such as 99.0F
- Cough may be productive or not
- Chest pain
When should I seek emergency medical attention?
- Severe difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or difficulty to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
How do I seek medical care?
- Call your local provider prior to your visit
- If you do not have a provider, Baylor Scott & White will assign one to you, via https://my.bswhealth.com/login
- Click on set up an account and follow the prompts
- You will fill out a short COVID-19 screening form, and be able to have an e-visit with a provider to see if you need testing.
Can I meet with out of county health care providers?
How does the virus spread?
- Spreads from person to person between people who are in close contact with one another closer than 6 feet via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
- These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
Can a person develop an immunity?
- Research is currently insufficient
Who is considered a direct contact?
- Person within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
- Having direct contact with the infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case such as being coughed on
How do I protect myself?
- Washing your hands OFTEN for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap especially after being in a public place or blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- If soap is not available use a hand sanitizer.
- Sneeze into a tissue and toss in the trash, then wash your hands
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Maintain social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet apart from others in public
- Limit close personal contact with others in public
How do I know if I am at higher risk of severe illness?
- Over the age of 60
- Heart disease
- Lung disease including asthma
- Kidney disease
- Pregnant women
- Immunocompromised such as HIV, autoimmune diseases, and cancer
How can I clean and disinfect my surroundings and laundry?
- Wear gloves when possible when cleaning
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. CDC has a 7 page list of cleaners on their website
- Lysol or Clorox cleaners are preferred. Items such as baby wipes will not kill the virus
- A bleach solution for surfaces can be made using 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- For clothing, use the warmest water and launder as labeled
- Use a separate laundry bag for people infected
Can I still go to my therapy appointments?
- Therapy such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care are medical care visits and are permitted. All are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines for proper personal protective equipment (PPE), follow social distancing when possible, and stay home when sick.
Can I visit my family in the nursing home retirement facility or long-term care facility?
- No, visitation is prohibited per the governor’s executive order with the exception of those that provide critical assistance.
Restaurants/ Food Services
How does this declaration affect my restaurant?
- Restaurants are not allowed to offer dine-in options, either inside or outside
- Take-out, drive-thru, curbside pick-up and delivery options with minimal contact are permitted
- Delivery of to-go food orders may include alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and mixed drinks)
- Management needs to limit the number of patrons in the restaurant to 10 people or less
- Management encourage any lines that form outside to use the 6 foot rule between patrons (social distancing)
- Patrons may enter the restaurant to pick up food, following social distancing rules
How does this affect my bar?
- Establishments that sell alcoholic beverage for on premise consumption, including a bar, lounge, tavern or private club, must close
Can my hotel/motel still serve breakfast?
- The hotel can provide room service or to go bags to patrons
Can food trucks or ice trucks still provide services?
- Yes, both are providing food in a curbside style delivery method.
What determines a social gathering or space?
- Any indoor or outdoor event that brings together ten or more persons at the same time in a single room or other single confined or enclosed space
- A ‘confined’ or ‘enclosed’ space includes any area that has a barrier such as a fence or railing or other barrier on more than one side of the area
Can I work out with my trainer?
Can I provide/receive lawn mowing and landscaping services?
Are outdoor recreational areas open?
- Yes, and social distancing is encouraged
- Fish is allowed however tournaments are not as no organized sports event is allowed at this time
Are docks and marinas able to remain open?
- Yes, and social distancing is encouraged
Are bait shops open?
- Yes, and social distancing is encouraged
Can pool maintenance companies be open?
- Yes, they are considered essential for sanitation
Religious Services/ Weddings/Funerals
Can we still hold Religious services?
- Yes, but places of worship are strongly urged to seek alternative ways to provide worship services, like livestreaming and videoconferencing. Churches should strongly consider the demographics of their congregation before attempting to conduct ‘normal’ worship services.
Can we still have the wedding?
- Weddings are limited to ten people or less and social distancing should be maintained
- Please contact the wedding venue management for information related to refunds, cancellations, rescheduling, etc.
Can we still have the funeral?
- Funeral services are limited to ten people or less and social distancing must be maintained
- If possible, make special provisions for at risk people, such as the ante room or CCTV
- Any questions related to school closures, openings or activities, please direct to the appropriate ISD.
- Schools shall be temporarily closed until 11:59 pm on April 3, 2020 per the Governor’s Executive Order.
Does my daycare have to close?
- No, not at this time but encouraged to follow CDC guidelines for proper personal protective equipment (PPE), follow social distancing, and stay home when sick
- To the extent possible, it is recommended that groups consist of not more than 10 and kept separate from other groups
‘Gathering’ rules does not include the following or other similar uses so long as social distancing is being practiced
- Airports, bus stations or terminals only if waiting on transit and maintaining social distancing
- Office spaces, public and private schools, residences or any type of temporary sheltering or housing
- Grocery stores, convenience stores, shopping centers or malls or other retail and business establishments
- Hospitals and Medical facilities
Can I travel in/out of the county?
- Travel is permitted as outlined in Directive #3, (a), i-v on page 3
- No letter for travel is required at this time
Can I get my car washed?
- Automated washes (staying in the vehicle) are operational but no detailing services.
Can I move into or out of the area?
Can I have an estate sale/garage sale?
I work in at a business that is considered essential but cannot maintain 6 feet for social distancing. Should we close?
- No. If your organization is considered essential please practice social distancing when possible.
Can payday lending stores or PAWN shops be open?
- Yes, as a financial institution they are considered essential
Can realtors still work?
- Realtors, brokerage, appraising, lending, title and property management are considered essential services. However, in-person realtor showings should not occur. Virtual tours are an acceptable alternate means to show a property.
Can a pet sitting business still offer services to essential business workers?
Are towing companies permitted to operate?
- Towing services may continue to provide public safety response, but civil processes are not permitted.
I’m concerned about a future event that I have planned. What should I do?
- It is ultimately your choice. Read through the order and select a decision date to determine whether to cancel or reschedule. We cannot ascertain an end date at this time.
Are maid services considered essential?
- Yes, please refer to section 2, b, vi (Essential Services Necessary to Maintain Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses) in Directive #3
Are contractors and painters considered essential services?
- Yes, please refer to section 2, b, vi (Essential Services Necessary to Maintain Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses) in Directive #3.
Are food pantries still open?
- We encourage them to remain open.
Why can liquor stores stay open?
- Liquor stores have sections of food goods and are considered essential similar to a grocery store.
Can we still have our AA meetings?
- We encourage Alcoholics Anonymous to continue meeting with 10 or less attendees per group session.
Can Engineers Office still accept electronic drawings for plats and construction drawings?
- Yes, although they do not accept electronic signatures at this time.
Can I be evicted?
- In the Fourth Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster from Governor Abbott, line 3, a, regarding “eviction to recover possession of residential property under Chapter 24 of the Texas Property Code and Rule 510 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure” reads that “no trail, hearing, or other proceeding may be conducted, and all deadlines are tolled, until after April 19, 2020”.
- Will neighbors get fined for congregating in groups larger than 10?
- Please call the hotline at (254) 933-5203
- Comments or concerns about enforcement of the governor’s executive order or the judge’s directives, call the Bell County COVID-19 Hotline at (254) 933-5203
Failure to comply is an offense punishable by a fine of up to $1000 per day or confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days.