City of San Angelo’s 10 person gathering rule goes into effect tonight

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San Angelo, Texas– The City of San Angelo voted yesterday to extend a local disaster declaration.

This disaster declaration goes into effect tonight, Friday, March 20, at 11:59 PM and includes the following:

  • 10 or more people may not gather together at the same time in a single confined space.
  • This rule applies to events such as weddings, funerals, parties, sporting events, conferences and religious services.
  • All restaurants and bars must close to in-house dining, but can offer delivery and takeout.
  • Schools & cafeterias will be closed.
  • Big box stores, grocery stores, convince stores, and pharmacies will remain open.
  • Hospitals and essential medical facilities will be open.
  • Utilities and essential services will continue to operate.
  • Public transit will continue to operate, airports will be open, and government buildings providing essential services will remain open.

The disaster declaration will be in effect until midnight on April 3rd, but could be extended if necessary.

San Angelo’s Mayor Brenda Gunter answered some of the more common FAQ’s in regards to these rules.

Q: What are the rules for day cares?
A: Day cares may continue to operate, but must follow Health and Human Services Commission regulations.

Q: What are the rules for churches?
A: Churches may continue to hold services, but church leaders are being asked to determine how church services will be held. Churches are still expected to follow the 10 person maximum rule. Churches are also asked to use social distancing, if services are continued to be held in the church building.

Q: What about funerals and weddings?
A: Funerals and weddings may continue, particularly if they are held outdoors. Please continue to practice social distancing at these events. These events are also expected to follow the 10 person maximum rule.

Q: Are shopping malls okay?
A: Shopping malls may continue to be open. There must be 10 people or less in a store at one time. Food courts will remain closed.

Q: Are employees included in the 10 person rule?
A: Yes, but that is 10 people per room. So an employer could have multiple rooms with up to 10 people in each. Also, employers should make sure that there is at least six feet between people.

Q: How does the rule apply to offices?
A: Offices must follow the 10 person per room rule. Offices must also constantly sanitize the work space including bathrooms.

Q: Can bars sell drinks to go?
A: Yes, but drinks may not be mixed in a to-go cup. Rather, smaller bottles of liqueur can be packaged with a to-go soda, tonic, a mixer and a separate container. However, a bar may not mix the drink prior to the to-go effort.

Q: Are city services still in operation?
A: City services will continue, even though the buildings will be closed. Please use the city website to get any information you need in terms of moving forward. There are no plans to shut down construction sites. Just be sure to use social distancing. Please continue to follow the 10 person rule.

Q: What if I can’t pay my water bill at this time? Will my water be shut off?
A: Water will not be shut off to any home or business at this time. You will still be responsible for paying the water bill at a later date. The City will work with you on a payment plan though the water department.

Q: How will these rules be enforced? What happens to those who do not comply?
A: People may call in to the non emergency number (325-657-4315) and report any person, business, or organization that is not following the requirement. There will be fines, there could be injunctions, and there could be citations for anyone that does not follow the requirement.

Remember the City has put these rules in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our citizens.

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