Outdoor events, such as July 4 celebrations and other large outdoor gatherings with estimated attendance of 10 or more, are permissible to hold in Texas. The county judge or the mayor, as appropriate, in coordination with the local public health authority, must give approval to such an outdoor gathering or event prior to it being held.
All individuals must wear a face covering (over the nose and mouth) wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another individual not in the same household or, for those engaging in physical activities outdoors, wherever the individual is not able to maintain a safe physical distance from others not in the same household.
The following are the minimum recommended health protocols for all outdoor events in Texas. These minimum health protocols are not a limit on the health protocols that individuals may adopt. Individuals are encouraged to adopt additional protocols consistent with their specific needs and circumstances to help protect the health and safety of all Texans.
The virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in these protocols, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable.
Please note, public health guidance cannot anticipate every unique situation. Individuals should stay informed and take actions based on common sense and wise judgment that will protect health and support economic revitalization.
Health Protocols for Individuals:
- Individuals aged 65 or older are at a higher risk of COVID-19. To the extent possible, avoid contact within 6 feet with individuals aged 65 and older. Individuals aged 65 and older should stay at home as much as possible. Large gatherings, even those held outside, pose a significant risk to this population.
- Individuals may not be in a group larger than 10 individuals (including those within the individual’s household). Within these groups, individuals should, to the extent possible, minimize in-person contact with others not in the individual’s household. Minimizing in-person contact includes maintaining 6 feet of separation from individuals. When maintaining 6 feet of separation is not feasible, other methods should be utilized to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as washing or sanitizing hand frequently, and avoiding sharing utensils or other common objects.
- Individuals should maintain 6 feet of separation from others outside the individual’s group. A group is defined as no more than 10 persons including the members of the household and those persons who traveled together to the event.
Self-screen before going to an outdoor event for any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19
- Wash or disinfect hands after any interaction with employees, other individuals, or items at the outdoor event.
- Clean and sanitize any items before and after use.
Local Approval Factors:
- Local approval for large outdoor gatherings (those with an estimated attendance exceeding 10 individuals) is appropriate in this instance because a statewide standard is unable to take into account the various factors needed to ensure such a gathering in varied locations is safe and will minimize the spread of COVID-19. Further, business parity is not an issue at large outdoor events.
- In evaluating large gatherings (those with an estimated attendance exceeding 10 individuals), the county judge or the mayor, as applicable, should consider the following factors:
- The overall number of projected attendees;
- The likelihood of individuals over the age of 65 attending;
- The density of the forum and the ability to ensure social distancing of 6 feet between individuals; and
- The level of transmission in the county.
- Gatherings of less than 10 individuals may proceed consistent with all the health protocols above without approval of the county judge, local health authority, or mayor, as applicable.