Emergency Declaration




DATE ORDER ISSUED: March 25, 2020

WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020, County Judge Nathaniel Moran, issued a declaration of local disaster and public health emergency after determining that extraordinary and immediate measures had to be taken to respond quickly to prevent and slow down community spread of COVID-19; and 

WHEREAS, The Mayor of the City of Hideaway has determined that extraordinary measures must be taken to mitigate the effects of this public health emergency to facilitate the efficient, rapid and cooperative response to the emergency:

WHEREAS, in December 2019, a novel coronavirus, now designated Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China; and 

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic and urged that all countries take urgent and aggressive action; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a national emergency regarding COVID-19; and 

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster due to COVID-19; and 

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the Northeast Texas Public Health District (“NET Health”) continued to urge persons to cancel, reschedule, and/or not attend gatherings attended by more than 250 people and made other recommendations regarding social distancing: and

WHEREAS, on March 15, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) lowered the recommended number of persons at mass gatherings to 50 persons; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, the CDC lowered the recommended number of persons at mass gatherings to 10 persons; and 

WHEREAS, on March 19, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued orders, prohibiting social gatherings in excess of 10 people; and

WHEREAS, as of March 24, 2020, there are 14 persons confirmed to have COVID-19 in Smith County, Texas, with 1 of those residing in the City of Hideaway; and 

WHEREAS, as of March 22, 2020, six Texans have died from COVID-19; and 

WHEREAS, on March 22, 2020, the Governor issued orders dealing with hospital care during this crisis; and

WHEREAS, at his March 22, 2020 press conference, the Governor acknowledged that the urban centers may need to enact more stringent measures to address this public health emergency and stated that he would applaud the cities for doing so; and

WHEREAS, on March 24, 2020 it was reported that Hideaway has a confirmed case of COVID-19. and because of the risk of the rapid spread of the virus, the need to protect the most vulnerable members of the community, the intent to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, and the desire to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible, this Order is required; and

WHEREAS, this Order is issued based on evidence of increasing occurrence of COVID-19 within the City and throughout the Northeast Texas area, scientific evidence and best practices regarding the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable diseases generally and COVID-19 specifically, and evidence that the age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population of the City places it at risk for serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, making the problem worse, some individuals who contract the COVID-19 virus have no symptoms or have mild symptoms, which means they may not be aware they carry the virus; and

WHEREAS, the symptoms of COVID-19 includes fever, coughing and shortness of breath and can range from mild to severe illness which may lead to further complications including death; and

WHEREAS, because even people without symptoms can transmit the disease, and because evidence shows the disease is easily spread, gatherings can result in preventable transmission of the virus; and

WHEREAS, the scientific evidence shows that at this stage of the emergency, it is essential to slow virus transmission as much as possible to protect the most vulnerable and to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. One proven way to slow the transmission is to limit interactions among people to the greatest extent practicable. By reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, this Order helps preserve critical and limited healthcare capacity in the county; and

WHEREAS, local health officials, the local hospitals, and the Health District are all calling for this action to flatten the curve of the virus transmission, and have warned that not taking action could result in the medical resources of Smith County being overcome; and

WHEREAS, a declaration of local disaster and public health emergency includes the ability to reduce the possibility of exposure to disease, control the risk, promote health, compel persons to undergo additional health measures that prevent or control the spread of disease, including isolation, surveillance, quarantine, or placement of persons under public health observation; and

WHEREAS, I, Ray Hutcheson, have determined that extraordinary and immediate measures must be taken to respond quickly to prevent and slow down community spread of COVID-19,

THEREFORE, that following with Federal, State, and County government, the Mayor hereby declares the City of Hideaway a local state of disaster due to the public health emergency under section 418.108(a) of the Texas Government Code 

The city will close and limit activities within the city within the next 7 days until April 1, 2020 at which time the Mayor and Board of Aldermen will re-exam.


1. All Hideaway Parks and Beaches

2. The Hideaway Golf course


1. The foregoing recitals are incorporated herein and made findings of fact.

2. That a local state of disaster and public health emergency is hereby declared for the City of Hideaway, Texas.

3. Pursuant to §418.108(b) of the Texas Government Code, the state of disaster shall continue for a period of not more than seven days from the date of the March 26, 2020, declaration unless continued or renewed by the City Council of the City of Hideaway.

4. Pursuant to §418.108(c) of the Texas Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be filed promptly with the City Secretary.

5. Pursuant to §418.108(d) of the Texas Government Code, this declaration of a local state of disaster activates the City’s emergency management plan.

6. All individuals currently living within the City of Hideaway, Texas (the "City") are ordered to shelter at their place of residence. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times as reasonably possible maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence. All persons may leave their residences only for Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses, all as defined in Section 10. Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this Section, but are strongly urged to obtain shelter, and entities are strongly urged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable (and to utilize Social Distancing Requirements in their operation).

7. All businesses with a facility in the City, except Essential Businesses as defined below in Section 10, are required to cease all activities at facilities located within the City except Minimum Basic Operations, as defined in Section 10. For clarity, businesses may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home). All Essential Businesses are strongly encouraged to remain open, however, even Essential Businesses are encouraged to determine essential staff necessary to operate and send non-essential staff home. To the greatest extent feasible, Essential Businesses shall comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in Section 10 below, including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line.

8. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes as expressly permitted in Section 10.  Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or living unit.

9. All travel, except Essential Travel and Essential Activities as defined below in Section 10, is prohibited. People must use public transit (like Uber, LIFT or GoBus) only for purposes of performing Essential Activities or to travel to and from work to operate Essential Businesses or maintain Essential Governmental Functions. People riding on public transit must comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in Section 10 below, to the greatest extent feasible. This Order allows travel into or out of the City to perform Essential Activities, operate Essential Businesses, or maintain Essential Governmental Functions.

10. Definitions and Exemptions.

a)  For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform any

of the following "Essential Activities:" 

i. To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home;

ii. To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;

iii. To engage in outdoor activity, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, running or riding a bicycle. Except for members of a residence who are sheltering together, the individuals shall comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section;

iv. To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order, including Minimum Basic Operations; and

v. To care for a family member or pet in another household.

But people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (as defined by the CDC) and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence to the fullest extent possibleexcept as necessary to seek medical care.

b. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any "Healthcare Operations" including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. "Healthcare Operations" also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. "Healthcare Operations" does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.

c. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of "Essential Infrastructure," including, but not limited to, construction, water, sewer, gas, electrical, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, web-based services), and residential lawn care provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible.

d. For purposes of this Order, all first responders, emergency management personnel, law enforcement personnel, and others who need to perform essential services are categorically exempt from this Order.  Further, nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing or accessing "Essential Governmental Functions," as determined by the governmental entity performing those functions. All Essential Governmental Functions shall be performed in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, to the extent possible.

e. For the purposes of this Order, covered businesses include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure.

f. For the purposes of this Order, "Essential Businesses" means:

i.    Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;

ii. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for 

delivery or carry out.  

iii. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;

iv. Professional services: legal, accounting, insurance, real estate services 

(including appraisal, survey, and title services);

v. Utilities, telecommunications, trash collection and disposal, law enforcement, 

EMS/ambulance, corrections, dispatch, animal shelters, governmental  

employees who have not been specifically deemed non-essential and sent 

home by the government entity;

vi. Religious services provided in residences, Healthcare Operations, at funerals, 

or provided online while being broadcast from a religious facility.

g. For the purposes of this Order, "Minimum Basic Operations" include the following, 

provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this 

Section, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:

i. The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business's 

inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for 

related functions; and

ii. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business 

being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.

h. For the purposes of this Order, "Essential Travel" includes travel for any of the 

following purposes:

i. Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, 

Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations;

ii. Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or 

other vulnerable persons;

iii. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials 

for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services;

iv. Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction;

v. Travel required by law enforcement or court Order; or

vi. Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside 

the City. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation 

out of the City remains available and functional prior to commencing such 


Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply with all Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section.

i For purposes of this Order, residences include homes, shared rental units, and similar 


j. For purposes of this Order, "Social Distancing Requirements" includes maintaining 

at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap 

and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, 

covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning 

high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.

11. Non-essential businesses shall shut down except for maintaining Minimum Basic Operations as defined herein. Essential Businesses exempted from shut-down are encouraged to determine staff who are essential to operations, and to send non-essential staff home

12. When people need to leave their places of residence, whether to obtain or perform vital services, or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times reasonably possible comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in Section 10 above.

13. Sections 6 through 12 in this order shall become effective at 12:00 AM on March 26, 2020. And shall remain in effect until 12:00 PM on April 1, 2020 unless extended by board of aldermen of the City to mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19.

14. All provisions of this Order should be interpreted to effectuate this intent. 

15. Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this Order constitutes an imminent threat to public health.

16. That a violation of this order shall be a Class C misdemeanor and the penalty for violating this order shall be a fine of not less than one dollar ($1.00) and no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), and each day a violation exists shall be a separate offense. That this declaration also hereby authorizes the use of any other lawfully available enforcement tools.

17. The City of Hideaway must promptly provide copies of this Order by posting it on the City of Hideaway website. In addition, the owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is likely to be impacted by this Order is strongly encouraged to post a copy of this Order onsite and to provide a copy to any member of the public asking for a copy.

If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Order or any application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision will not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.

ORDERED this the 25th day of March 2020.


Ray Hutcheson, Mayor

City of Hideaway, Texas