Galveston County Judge Mark Henry has ordered the closing of the beaches in unincorporated areas of the county to strengthening social distancing efforts and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Noting that Texas Governor Greg Abbott closed state parks and historical sites across Texas, Judge Henry signed an order closing the beaches in the unincorporated areas of Galveston County, including the Bolivar Peninsula.
The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 10 and remains in effect through April 17. It will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis.
The order applies to both residents of Galveston County as well as visitors.
The decision to close beaches was made in consultation with law enforcement and local health officials.
For the last two weeks, Galveston County has had increased law enforcement presence on the beaches enforcing social distancing and the Office of Emergency Management has received daily reports on the situation.
According to the judge's office, while these reports have been mostly positive in regards to beachgoers practicing social distancing, there is a concern that with the Easter Holiday coming over the weekend numbers could increase.
“We have been actively monitoring the number of people on the beaches and enforcing social distancing requirements but there are concerns that the numbers may grow over the weekend and that is why proactive action is being taken," said County Judge Mark Henry.