Legal Resources for County COVID-19 Response

As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves in Texas, TAC Legal Services staff are closely monitoring the situation and working to remain responsive to the needs of TAC members.

We offer the following information to our members to assist them in responding to COVID-19. This information will be updated so please check back frequently.

Last updated 9-8-21

Government Actions

On March 13, 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation declaring a state of disaster for all counties in Texas. He has renewed the disaster proclamation in each subsequent month, most recently on Aug. 29, 2021.

On March 29, 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-13 suspending articles of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and sections of the Texas Government Code to prevent the release of criminal defendants previously accused or convicted of a violent crime on a personal bond and to prohibit the early release for good behavior of inmates serving misdemeanor sentences. 

On April 27, 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott released "Texans Helping Texans: The Governor's Report to Open Texas." 

On Nov. 23, 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. The plan was updated on Dec. 17, 2020.

On July 19, 2021, the Texas Supreme Court issued the 40th Emergency Order regarding the COVID-19 state of disaster. The order renews and amends the 38th Emergency Order issued on May 26, 2021.

On July 28, 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-37 relating to the transportation of migrants during the COVID-19 disaster. This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force unless it is modified, amended, rescinded or superseded by the governor. 

On July 29, 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-38 relating to the continued response to the COVID-19 disaster. This executive order supersedes all pre-existing pandemic-related executive orders and rescinds them in their entirety, except that it does not supersede or rescind Executive Orders GA-13 or GA-37.

On Aug. 18, 2021, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a press release announcing additional federal COVID-19 relief assistance payments for local communities.

On Aug. 25, 2021, Gov. Abbott issued Executive Order GA-39 relating to prohibiting vaccine mandates and vaccine passports subject to legislative action. GA-39 supersedes only paragraph two of Executive Order GA-38 and does not supersede or otherwise affect the remaining paragraphs of GA-38.

Guidance for County Officials

We offer the following information on specific statutory responsibilities that may be implemented by county officials as the COVID-19 outbreak evolves.

COVID-19 Guidance from TAC Legal Services

Government Communications

Communications Relating to County Responsibilities:

Contacts

Texas Association of Counties (800) 456-5974
TAC Legal Services Department (888) 275-8224
TAC Risk Management Pool Claims (855) 472-5246
Texas Department of Emergency Management (512) 424-2208

THIS PUBLICATION IS A RESEARCH TOOL AND NOT THE COUNSEL OF AN ATTORNEY. THIS PUBLICATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY.

It is provided without warranty of any kind and, as with any research tool, should be double checked against relevant statutes, case law, attorney general opinions and advice of legal counsel e.g., your county attorney. Each public officer is responsible for determining duties of the office or position held. Any question regarding such duties should be directed to competent legal counsel for a written opinion.