That's a Lot of Places, Governor Abbott: Here's What's Re-opening in Texas on May 1

Posted: Apr 27, 2020 6:10 PM
That's a Lot of Places, Governor Abbott: Here's What's Re-opening in Texas on May 1

Source: AP Photo/Eric Gay

Texas is ready to re-open, albeit very slowly. Gov. Greg Abbott was one of the first states to announce plans that they will start to restart some aspects of their state economy going, based on input from the experts, in a phased-in approach. He said the floodgates won’t be opened, though state Democrats are still worried about the level of testing in the Lone Star State. Social distancing procedures appear to be also incorporated into this move, as the first slate of businesses that can re-open can only operate at 25 percent capacity. 

It’s a pretty impressive list for Texas, with retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and libraries primed to re-open May 1. The second series of re-opening will be assessed on May 18, along with a possible increase in occupancy for the businesses that will be allowed to open this Friday (via Texas Tribune) [emphasis mine]:

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday said he will let the state’s stay-at-home order expire Thursday as scheduled and allow businesses to begin reopening in phases the next day, the latest ramp-up in his push to restart the Texas economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

First to open on Friday: retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls. But they will only be allowed to operate at 25% capacity. Museums and libraries will also be allowed to open at 25% capacity, but hands-on exhibits must remain closed.

Abbott said a second phase of business reopenings could come as soon as May 18 — as long as the state sees "two weeks of data to confirm no flare-up of COVID-19." That second phase would allow business to expand their occupancy to 50%, according to the governor.

Abbott made the announcement during a news conference at the Texas Capitol that began with him saying he would let the stay-at-home order expire because it "has done its job to slow the growth of COVID-19." While the spread of the virus in Texas has slowed down over April, the number of cases is still increasing day-to-day, and it is unclear if the state has yet seen its peak.

Bars, gyms, salons, and public swimming pools will remain closed until mid-May (via NBCDFW):

Abbott said not all businesses could open at once and that bars, salons, gyms and barbershops are still ordered to remain closed for the time being. Abbott said he hoped they would be able to resume operations in mid May, provided COVID-19 outbreak is kept in check.

"Public swimming pools, bars, gyms, cosmetology salons, massage establishments, interactive amusement venues, such as bowling alleys and video arcades, and tattoo and piercing studios will remain closed through Phase I," the governor's office said. "Nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities must remain closed to visitors unless to provide critical assistance."

Abbott said Texans are free to return to outdoor sports, such as golf and tennis, so long as there are no more than four participants and that players maintain social/physical distancing.

We’ll see what happens. And yes, there are some who are dead-set against it, but I'm hoping for the best. We all should--and no one said that with these re-openings that no infection spikes would occur.

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