FAQ's for the Local Emergency Directive
Please review the FAQ's below for information about the Local Emergency Directive.
What should I do if I or a family member is showing symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever measuring greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit, feeling feverish, cough, sore throat, repeated shaking with chills, chills, muscle pain, diarrhea, headache,nausea or vomiting, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, new loss of taste or smell and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, you should seek medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include: trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to rouse; bluish lips or face.
If you have life-threatening symptoms, you should call 911. If you are getting yourself to a healthcare facility, do not use public transportation. You should drive yourself, if possible. If you cannot drive yourself, keep as much distance as possible between yourself and the driver and leave the windows down.
You should wear a cloth face covering -- such as a scarf or bandana wrapped around your mouth and nose -- to prevent exposing others to your respiratory droplets when you cough and sneeze.
What should I do if I've been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
If you have been in close contact with someone who is positive or presumed positive, you can also get tested and must self-quarantine.
Even if you feel well now, it is possible that you are also infected. It can take 2-14 days to show symptoms, which is why you need to stay home and separate yourself from others in your home as much as possible.
Do I need to wear a face covering when I leave home and/or interact with others?
Yes. When leaving your home, all residents over the age of two (2) are strongly urged to wear some form of covering over their nose and mouth, unless an exception applies.
What are the exceptions to wearing a face covering?
All persons in El Paso are strongly encouraged to use face coverings, with the following exceptions:
- When alone in a separate single space, whether indoor or outdoor,
- When only in the presence of other members of your household or residence whether inside or outside the residence,
- When wearing a face covering poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk,
- When engaged in outdoor activity to promote individual health, for example when biking, walking, or running; provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in the Directive.
- When seated at your table when patronizing a restaurant, as long as the requirements for the Dine-In restaurants included in the Directive are followed; or
- When actively engaging in exercise at a gym or exercise establishment.
Do I need to wear a face covering when I dine-in at a restaurant?
All businesses in El Paso are required to adhere to a Health and Safety Policy that requires individuals to use face coverings when on their premises; however, when seated at your table at a restaurant you can remove the face covering, as long as the requirements for the restaurant included in the Directive are followed.
For Drive-Thru food pick-ups, a face covering is required in a drive thru if you can’t keep 6 feet of distance from others.
Do I have to wear a mask if I have a medical condition?
You do not have to wear a face covering if it poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk.
However, CDC reminds the public that recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
Do I still need to stay at least 6 feet away from people if wearing a face covering?
Yes. Wearing a face covering is just a part of your overall protection plan to keep you and others from spreading and getting COVID-19. That plan includes:
- Social distancing, or staying at least 6 feet away from other people
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Not touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- Staying home when you are sick
- Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and discarding the tissue
- Disinfecting high-touch surfaces often, such as buttons, handles, and knobs
Wearing face coverings is an additional public health measure people must take to reduce the spread of COVID-19, not the only measure.
Should I wear a face shield?
Individuals must make a choice of what type of face covering is best for them, as long as it meets the CDC definition of face covering. Wearing a mask will contain your respiratory droplets. Avoid close contact with anyone who is not wearing a mask. If you must be in close contact with someone who is not wearing a mask, a face shield may provide some additional protection in addition to a cloth face covering.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
There are a variety of locations where you can get tested for COVID-19. To see a full list click on the Testing tab or click here.
How can I get my test results if I was tested at the Texas Military Department Mobile Testing (or the Rural Testing) site?
Please send an email to email@example.com or call 512-883-2400.
Can I perform activities while practicing social distancing?
You can still do daily essential activities, for example, but not limited to:
- walking your dog,
- picking up medicine,
- leaving your home to buy groceries,
- go for a run,
- visit a reopened service,
- visit your doctor, or
- travel to and from work (only to provide or access an essential business or activity or a reopened service).
Under the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, with the advice of the Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, Attorney General, and Texas Comptroller, the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas has begun to safely and strategically restart and revitalize all aspects of the state to include work, school, entertainment, and culture. For a complete listing of the Open Texas plan, visit https://open.texas.gov/.
If out in public, please remain at least 6 feet apart from another person and wear a face covering.
Can I seek non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, elective procedures?
All licensed health care professionals shall be limited in their practice by, and must comply with, any emergency rules promulgated by their respective licensing agencies. You may seek these services as allowed by relevant licensing agencies. Please seek further information from your specific medical care provider for additional requirements.
Can I leave home to care for elderly parents, friends, or family members who need assistance?
You may leave home to provide essential care for a family member or friend in another household.
Can I visit/go to:
With limited exceptions, all business in Texas may operate at 50% capacity, and with minimum standard health protocols for businesses and patrons.
Visit https://open.texas.gov/ for specific information before you head out to patronize re-opened businesses or services.
Grocery store, Market, Corner Store, Food Bank, etc.
Yes, services may be provided through pick-up, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer's doorstep. In-store retail services may be provided if operated at up to 50 percent of the total occupancy of the retail establishment.
Shopping malls, to include food court dining areas, may operate at 50% of the total listed capacity. Video arcades may operate at 50% capacity, and must follow the minimum health protocols here.
Yes, beginning June 29, restaurants must reduce their occupancy to 50 percent , and must abide by specific minimum health protocols.
May operate as curbside pick-up, drive through or delivery as allowed by the TABC.
Yes, movie theaters may operate at up to 50 percent of the total occupancy, and must abide by specific minimum health protocols.
Hair Salon, Beauty Salon, Barbershop, Nail Salon, Tanning Salon
Yes, these personal care facilities are able to open with conditions. Work-stations must be 6 feet apart, and social-distancing, hygiene and face-covering behaviors must be followed.
Massage, Personal Care and Other Beauty Services
Yes, massage establishments, other licensed massage therapists, personal-care and beauty services, such as tattoo studios, piercing studios, hair removal services, and hair loss treatment and growth services may operate maintaining 6 feet between stations, in compliance with applicable law, and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Dental Care Providers, Eye Care Providers
Medical providers shall abide by health protocols enacted by their relevant licensing agencies.
Yes, Gyms are able to open with a 50 percent capacity; all patrons must wear gloves covering fingers, and facilities must abide by minimum standard health protocols, to include ensuring spacing in showers and locker room facilities by, for example, closing off certain lockers or showers.
Gyms must require all individuals inside of the business establishment to wear a face covering at all times, except for when an individual is actively engaging in exercise.
For information specifically related to school gymnasiums and facilities, please see the Texas Education Agency’s Guidance.
Yes, indoor and outdoor pools may open at 50 percent capacity. Pools owned and operated by the City of El Paso remain closed.
The City is developing a plan to re-open facilities, City parks are open, except for the playground areas and fitness equipment.
Yes, Waterparks may operate at 50 percent capacity; and, any video arcade components must remain closed. Waterparks owned and operated by the City of El Paso follow specific protocols.
City Parks and Recreation Facilities
The City's parks are open with the exception of playground areas and fitness equipment.
Hiking and walking trails across the City are open. Visitors are required to keep six feet apart from others not within their household, not congregate with people who are not from their household, required to use face coverings unless exercising, and urged not use trails if they or anyone in their household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. View a complete list of walking paths.
The City is developing a plan to re-open additional Parks and Recreational facilities.
State Park Trails
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reopened portions of Franklin Mountains State Park for limited day use.
Only 300 people will be allowed each day. No groups larger than ten (except those in the same family or household). Face coverings are strongly encouraged while in the park.
People may also visit Hueco Tanks State park following minimum health guidelines.
Visitors must purchase day passes prior to arrival through the Reservation System at www.texasstateparks.org or by calling Customer Service at 512-389-8900.
Places of Worship, Church
Yes, and must follow minimum standard health protocols.
Childcare Facilities and Services
Yes, childcare services, may operate under licensing and state law requirements and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Driver Education Programs
Yes, driver education programs may operate under licensing and state law requirements and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Yes, motorsports events may operate at up to 50 percent capacity and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Yes,youth clubs such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, TOP Teens, FFA and Girl Inc. may hold meetings and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Yes, youth camps, including those defined in Chapter 141 of the Texas Health and Safety Code and summer camps and daytime and overnight camps for youth may operate and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Bowling Alleys, Bingo Halls, Simulcast Racing, Skating Rinks
Yes, bowling alleys, bingo halls, simulcast racing and skating rinks may operate at up to 50 percent the total listed occupancy and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Rodeos, Equestrian Events
Yes, rodeos and equestrian events, but not larger events such as fairs, may operate at up to 50 percent the total listed occupancy and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Yes, drive-in concerts, under guidelines that facilitate appropriate distancing and require spectators to remain in their vehicles, and minimize in-person contact between people not from the same household or vehicle.
Amateur Sporting Events
Yes, amateur sporting events, but no access to the public and all participants have tested negative for COVID-19 prior to the event with ongoing testing and health checks.
Professional Sporting Events
Yes, professional sporting events may begin, , provided the league first submits a plan to the Department of State Health Services, limits spectator occupancy to 50 percent%, and complies with minimum Health Protocols.
Youth & Adult Sports Programs
Yes, youth and adult sports programs may begin practices, games and similar competitions may also begin and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Vet or Pet Hospital
Yes, you may obtain health services for pets.
Pet groomers for everyone, not just veterinarian issues
Yes, non-health related service is a permitted. It must follow the Governor's guidelines for reopened services.
Yes, but it must follow the Governor's guidelines for reopened services.
The City Animal Shelter remains closed to walk-in traffic, but they are operating through curb-side service. [See website for all local animal shelters for more details]
Senior Centers, Recreation Centers operated by the City
Senior Centers operated by the City remain closed.
Beginning July 1, select regional recreation centers will be reopened Monday through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The regional recreation centers are:
- Don Haskins (7400 High Ridge Dr.)
- Veterans (5301 Salem Dr.)
- Pat O’Rourke (901 N Virginia St.)
- Gary del Palacio (3001 Parkwood St.)
- Pavo Real (9301 Alameda Ave.)
- Marty Robbins (11620 Vista Del Sol Dr.)
- Officer David Ortiz (563 N Carolina Dr.)
The public will be required to wear face coverings except when participating in sports and actively engaging in exercise. Select classes will be offered at reduced attendance capacity. The public is asked to adhere to all applicable State minimum standard health protocols and Local Health Authority Orders.
Laundromat, Dry Cleaning Service
Funeral Services, Funeral Homes
Yes; however must follow minimum standard health protocols.
Outdoor Markets (Flea, Farmers, etc.)
Yes, outdoor markets are authorized to open with no more than 100 participants and must comply with minimum Health Protocols.
Indoor Amusements (Laser Tag/Paint Ball/Indoor Playground)
Indoor amusements may reopen at 50 percent capacity and must follow the minimum Health Protocols.
Yes, amusement parks may re-open at 50 percent capacity, and visitors must follow minimum standard health protocols.
Outdoor Events, such as Fourth of July Celebrations
Individuals may be in groups of 10 or fewer, must remain 6 feet from individuals not from their household, and must follow Minimum Standard Health Protocols.
Rafting or tubing
People shall not use commercial rafting or tubing services, including rental of rafts or tubes and transportation of people for the purpose of rafting or tubing.
El Paso Libraries
Public may access curbside check-out services at three (3) City libraries on a limited basis, which are:
- Dorris Van Doren (551 Redd Rd.)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays
- Esperanza Acosta Moreno (12480 Pebble Hills Blvd.)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursdays
- Richard Burges (9600 Dyer St.)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Mondays and Thursdays
Materials must be checked out online and picked up by appointment to ensure safety for staff and the public. Face coverings are required for library patrons engaged in library activities, including curb-side pick-up. For more information, visit www.elpasolibrary.org
Is there a way for seniors to get meals delivered to their homes?
Food delivery is an essential service and is authorized with minimum health protocols.
May I have friends or family come to my house to visit or gather in groups of less than 10?
Individuals are required to minimize in-person contact with persons not within their household, and should avoid being in a group larger than 10 individuals (including those within the individual’s household). See Checklist.
If my child's school is providing food or meals, can I leave home to pick them up?
Yes, obtaining food for your family is an essential activity and is authorized.
Will my trash still get picked up?
Waste removal is an essential activity and is authorized to continue.
Are faith based organizations allowed to hold food drives?
Yes. Religious services are considered essential services and allowed to continue as long as they follow social distancing requirements and minimum Health Protocols. Businesses that provide basic necessities to economically disadvantaged individuals are also essential and allowed to provide services.
What is an Essential Business?
- Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores
- Hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, veterinary offices and other healthcare services
- Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to continue performing their essential work duties
- Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning
- Gas stations and auto repair facilities
- Banks and financial institutions
- Critical infrastructure including energy, water, solid waste collection and other governmental services
- Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses
- Businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities
- Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods directly to residences
- Roles required for any Essential Business to “maintain basic operations,” which include security, payroll, and similar activities
- Moving Companies
- Real Estate Services
Non-essential businesses may continue operations at their own residences (i.e., working from home) and may re-open to specified capacities.
Are visitors to my business required to wear face coverings?
Yes, as of June 22, 2020, Section 1(c) of the First Amendment to the Fourth Local Emergency Directive requires all businesses in the City of El Paso to develop and implement a Health and Safety Policy with minimum requirements. This includes requiring all employees and visitors to wear face coverings. Failure to develop and implement the Health and Safety Policy required by this Directive by June 22, 2020, may result in a fine not to exceed $500 for each violation.
Businesses can expand the Health and Safety Policy beyond the minimum requirements, and may include the same exception(s) to the face covering requirement that is included in the Directive. Whether a business denies entry to a customer without a face covering would be a decision for each individual business.
Are my employees required to wear face coverings?
Yes, all businesses in El Paso must develop and implement a health and safety policy requiring, employees, including volunteers, to have a face covering when either in an area or performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public, where six (6) feet of separation from other individuals is not feasible. All businesses must post the Health and Safety Policy required by the First Amendment to the Fourth Local Emergency Directive in a clearly visible location sufficient to provide notice to employees, volunteers and visitors. The Health and Safety Policy required to be developed and implemented by the Directive may also include additional measures designed to control and reduce the transmission of COVID-19 such as temperature checks and health screenings.
Is my business required to open under the current order?
Businesses listed as authorized to re-open may do so at their own discretion.
Are Outdoor Mass Gatherings permitted?
Outdoor Mass Gatherings (concerts, conferences, festivals, block parties, outdoor weddings, etc.) are allowed with limits of no more than 100 participants, unless prior approval of the Mayor is obtained. Please review The City of El Paso Health Authority Orders for Outdoor Mass Gatherings found in the Health Orders tab for additional information.
Are Parades permitted?
Organizations planning on having parades must limit the number of participants to 100 individuals or less, unless prior approval from the Mayor is obtained, and shall be required to follow the Local Public Health Authority Order regarding parades which is found in the Health Orders.
Can I leave home to exercise?
Yes, exercise is an essential activity, and is strongly encouraged.
Are the city's parks and recreation centers open?
Yes, all City Parks are open, including skate parks and outdoor basketball/tennis courts.
Due to ongoing health concerns regarding COVID-19, playgrounds and fitness equipment within parks will remain closed until further notice.
Park visitors are asked to follow health and safety guidelines that include social distancing protocols, wearing a face covering and no gathering in groups of more than 10. City permits are also needed for organized functions, such as games and practices.
Are public trails and trailheads open?
Hiking and walking trails across the City are open. Visitors are encouraged to keep six feet apart from others, not congregate with people who are not from their household, encouraged to use face coverings, and urged not use trails if they or anyone in their household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. View a complete list of walking paths.
When will the El Paso Zoo open?
The El Paso Zoo will be opened on July 1, 2020.
Zoo visitors are asked to follow health and safety guidelines that include social distancing protocols and wearing a face covering.
What about the El Paso Zoo membership that I paid for?
If your membership expired between March 2020, and July 1, 2020, the El Paso Zoo Society will be offering you an additional three months of membership with your twelve-month membership upon renewal.
Active members as of July 1 have automatically received a three-month extension. For additional questions, please call the El Paso Zoo Society at 915-212-0245, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at elpasozoosociety.org.
What is the Governor's Order?
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued executive orders to Reopen Texas. The Governor’s new and preexisting orders can be found at the website.
What is the Local Emergency Directive?
On March 13, 2020, the City of El Paso issued a disaster declaration and on March 17, the El Paso City Council passed an emergency ordinance that extended the disaster declaration for 30 days. The Council also unanimously approved to extend a second emergency ordinance establishing emergency measures. The Council extended the ordinances and declaration on April 13, May 11, and June 8.
What happens if individuals or businesses don't comply with the order?
Anyone found guilty of violating this order will face a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Would you like to submit a compliance complaint or concern? Call (915) 832-4400.
What can I do if my landlord isn't obeying these orders?
Would you like to submit a compliance complaint or concern? Call (915) 832-4400.
How will the City enforce the capacity limits?
Any peace officer such as officers of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the El Paso Police Department, the Fire Marshal's office and City code enforcement officers, code compliance officers of other similar designation may enforce the Directive.
Would you like to submit a compliance complaint or concern? Call (915) 832-4400.
How will the City determine the capacity limit violation?
Every relevant business certificate of occupancy authorized to do business in the City has a listed occupancy.
What type of construction activities are permitted?
What if I need to leave the City?
You may leave the City. However, traveling increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Before you travel, learn if COVID-19 is spreading in any of the places you are going. Traveling to visit family may be especially dangerous if you or your loved ones are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19. People at higher risk for severe illness need to take extra precautions.
Can I leave the City to go on a planned vacation?
Yes. However, traveling increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. Before you travel, learn if COVID-19 is spreading in any of the places you are going. Traveling to visit family may be especially dangerous if you or your loved ones are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19. People at higher risk for severe illness need to take extra precautions.
If I travel, what steps should I take to help reduce my chances of getting sick?
- Clean your hands often.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating.
- If soap and water are not available, bring and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Keep 6 feet of physical distance from others.
- Wear a face covering in public.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Pick up food at drive-thrus, curbside restaurant service, or stores.
- Make sure you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine.
Can I take public transportation (bus, tram, train)?
Yes, public transportation is available to access essential and re-opened services or activities.
Can I use rideshare or on-demand service or a taxi?
Is the airport open during this crisis?
The El Paso International Airport is open.
What is being done to protect the homeless?
The City of El Paso has authorized the use of two City facilities to function as temporary housing shelters to assist the homeless population while complying with the Health Authority’s social distancing rules.
The two facilities are:
Delta Welcome Center at the Hilos De Plata Senior Center
4451 Delta Dr., El Paso, TX 79905
Delta Haven at the Chalio Acosta Sports Center
4321 Delta Dr., El Paso, TX 79905
The centers will be operated by the Opportunity Center for the Homeless with support from the City of El Paso, the Office of Emergency Management and numerous non-profit and private sector partners. Primary partners supporting the work include the Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, El Paso Coalition for the Homeless, Endeavors, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, and the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation and the United Way.