On Monday, Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott stated at a news conference that as part of phase one of his plans for reopening the state, Texas will permit the reopening of retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters, albeit at a limited capacity, on Friday.
Abbott stated, “We’re not just going to pen up and hope for the best. We’re going to open in way that will also contain the virus and keep us safe. A more strategic approach is required so that we don’t open only to close down again,” according to Fox News.
Fox News also reported that museums and libraries will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity; “sole proprietors of businesses can also open and doctors and dentists can resume normal operations as well.” Phase two of the plan will go into effect on May 18 if there has not been a spike in the number of coronavirus cases by that date. Phase two would permit businesses to operate at 50% capacity.
Abbott cautioned, “We will open in a way that employs safe standards. There is a reason why all businesses in Texas can’t reopen all at once.”
Among other areas reopening are places of worship, which must observe social distancing guidelines. Hospitals must reserve half of their capacity for COVID-19 victims, while barber shops, hair salons and bars will still not be permitted to reopen.
Fox News noted that Mississippi is permitting businesses to operate at 50% capacity, while Montana now allows retail businesses to operate if they limit capacity and follow social distancing guidelines; Tennessee is letting restaurants to serve customers as long as they maintain 50% occupancy.
On April 17, Abbott stated Texas would start to reopen state parks and allow retail stores to provide “to go” service the following week. He said, “We have shown that Texas can continue our efforts to contain COVID-19 while also adopting safe standards that will allow us to begin the process of reopening Texas,” as Fox News reported.
The Daily Wire reported, “To help guide the reopening process, Abbott announced the creation of the ‘Strike Force to Open Texas.’” Abbott stated, “The Strike Force to Open Texas brings together nationally recognized medical experts with public and private sector leaders to achieve this mission. By coming together, we can get Texans back to work, practice safe standards that will prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we can overcome this pandemic.”
On April 20, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said on Fox News, “I don’t want to die … Nobody wants to die, but man we gotta’ take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running. There are more important things than living, and that’s saving this country for my children and grandchildren and saving this country for all of us.”
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