While parts of Houston prepare to reopen Friday under the executive order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, some parts of the city government will remain closed for another month as the region continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Sylvester Turner said Thursday that all events sponsored or permitted by the city will continue to be postponed or cancelled through May, during which time all Houston Public Library locations will remain closed. The city also announced Thursday that all trials in Houston Municipal Court, along with arraignments, hearings, jury duty and parking adjudication hearings, will be suspended through May.
“The way city employees are operating today, many of them are working remotely, and that status will continue through the month of May as well,” Turner said.
Per Abbott’s latest executive order, his statewide stay-at-home order will expire at the end of the day Thursday and businesses such as retail shops, restaurants, malls and movie theaters are permitted to reopen Friday with limited building occupancies. Libraries and museums also are allowed to reopen.
Houston’s municipal court will remain open for all proceedings other than the aforementioned ones, although the city said citizens should contact a healthcare provider and refrain from coming to court if they have had contact with someone who is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19. After being cleared by a physician, citizens can visit a municipal court location.
Resets for court dates impacted by the closure will be given in person at any municipal court location between Monday, May 11 and 5 p.m. Friday, May 29. Defendants who do not reschedule court dates by May 29 may have warrants issued for their arrest, according to the city.
For more information, visit www.houstontx.gov/courts.