Coronavirus

The City of Galveston is taking proactive measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including limiting in-person interactions for city business and suspending permitting for large special events. 

The City of Galveston will continue to provide all city services, however we encourage city business be handled online or via phone where possible. 

These measures are being taken out of an abundance of caution in an effort to protect the public health, particularly our most vulnerable populations, and to slow the progression of this virus, which in turn eases the burden on medical care providers. Preserving the health and safety of our staff allows city services to continue without interruptions.

City staff will continue reporting to work unless an employee is sick.

SpreadPrevention

Follow these preventative measures to reduce your risk of illness:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Stay at home if you're sick
  • Avoid personal contact
  • Disinfect surfaces

City closing entertainment venues and limiting food services, per federal guidelines

GALVESTON, TX – March 17, 2020 – Mayor Jim Yarbrough on Tuesday enacted two orders closing public amusement venues, including bars, and limiting restaurants to take-out, delivery and drive-thru services, following federal guidelines regarding Coronavirus and public gatherings.

The order requires the closure of public amusement venues operating within the City of Galveston. The second order limits restaurants to take-out, delivery and drive-thru only, effective 5 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Hotel restaurants will still be able to serve guests only. The order also closes bars, effective at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

This includes museums and theme parks, such as the Pleasure Pier, and other large attractions, such as Moody Gardens. The orders were signed into effect by the Galveston Mayor on Tuesday, as permitted under the emergency declaration enacted Monday, as authorized by the Texas Government Code Chapter 418.

This decision is intended to reduce the risk of community spread and protect the health of our residents. 

The decision is prompted by the first confirmed case of community spread in Galveston County. By state law, the order will be in effect for seven days, effective immediately.

“These decisions do not come lightly, but are the most prudent we can make at this time,” Mayor Jim Yarbrough said. “This is not to create panic, but is out of an abundance of caution to meet the CDC guidelines and the guidance we have received from the medical community about social distancing.”

The latest federal guidelines were released Monday and include:
• Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. 

• Avoid discretionary travel like shopping trips and social visits. 

• Avoid bars and restaurants and food courts -- instead use drive-through, pickup and delivery options. 

• Do not visit aged care facilities. 

• If you work in health care, pharmaceutical or food supply, "you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule."

• If someone in your house has tested positive, the entire household should stay home. 

• Older people and those with underlying health conditions should stay home.

The Trump administration has called for these guidelines to be in effect for 15 days in an effort to flatten the curve of the virus – meaning reducing the number of infections to prevent overwhelming medical care services. The City of Galveston is following the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and the federal government to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We continue to closely monitor the situation and will continue providing regular updates to the public.

Changes to City Services

Special Events

Effective immediately and for the next 14 days, the city will not issue special event permits to any events with 50 or more participants. This suspension will be revisited after two weeks.                                                                                              

We strongly encourage private event organizers in Galveston to consider postponing events with 50 or more people.

Paying Your Water Bill

The City of Galveston encourages water customers to pay online at www.galvestontx.gov/paymywaterbill. Water bills may also be mailed to 823 Rosenberg, Galveston TX 77550. In addition, payments may be dropped off at City Hall in the overnight deposit.

Permitting

We encourage residents and contractors to apply for building permits online at https://eportal.galvestontx.gov/CitizenAccess/. Applicants may also call 409-797-3660 for more information.

Recreation Centers and Public Pool

McGuire Dent Recreation Center, Wright Cuney Recreation Center and the Lasker Park Community Pool are all closed until further notice.

Municipal Court

Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, Galveston Municipal Court will be suspended for two weeks. Tickets may be paid online at https://www.municipalonlinepayments.com/galvestontx.

For All Other City Services

We encourage any other matters that can be handled online or by the phone to be done in that manner. If you believe your request cannot be handled over the phone, please contact the department for a walk-in appointment.

More Information

To follow developments at the city, stay informed withwww.galvestontx.gov/newsflash. For health developments, follow the Galveston County Health District and the Center for Disease Control.

Information about what to do if you believe you may be sick is available athttps://www.utmb.edu/covid-19.