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Allowed to work with a Stay at home order

Texas
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Anonymous contractor
Mar 25, 2020

In Harris County Houston, Texas we have orders to stay at home. I am a General Contractor that mostly does repairs to homes and apts., which also includes exterior carpentry and painting. Am I still allowed to work?

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Anonymous contractor
Mar 25, 2020
Here is the language pertaining to Harris County's limited exemption for construction services (sorry for the strange font/sizing): xi.Infrastructure, Development, Operation and Construction. For example, public works construction, construction of housing or other types of construction including commercial, manufacturing, airport operations and aircraft manufacturing, maintenance or repair, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, 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, and web-based services). This language is just too vague to provide you a firm answer. It does list "maintenance or repair" as exempted work, but the spirit of the exemption would seem to services to work that is absolutely necessary. For the purposes of the virus, if it is possible to put off the work for a few weeks, I would strongly suggest doing so unless the incomplete work would leave a homeowner at risk of further property damage or would otherwise compromised the owner's ability to safely reside within the property. For further guidance you can also email the county directly at stayhome@cjo.hctx.net, though I suspect they are currently being hammered with questions. If you need assistance in negotiating additional time to perform your work or other contractual matters, please reach my office directly. Very best, Ben House 2817621377 ben@houseperron.com www.houseperron.com
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