Coronavirus Update April 17, 2020
According to the Governor:
AUSTIN, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott closed all schools for the remainder of the school year while also announcing steps to re-open parts of Texas amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott said the state will form a strike force that will start working on a plan to re-open the Texas economy and also issued executive orders that loosened some restrictions on medical procedures and retail.
“Step by step, we will open Texas,” Abbott said.
But most notably, schools in the state won’t re-open until the fall at the earliest. Abbott said health officials recommended that the final month of the school year not take place. Abbott had previously cancelled all classes through early May.
Most of the announcement on Friday, though, was spent discussing how Texas would slowly re-open.
State parks will be re-opened on Monday, but visitors will be required to wear face coverings and maintain social distance and can’t be in groups larger than five.
Another executive order says starting April 22, restrictions on some medical procedures will be loosened. All non-essential medical procedures have been banned in the state for several weeks. Some things that will be allowed include diagnostic testing and some elective surgeries.
All stores will be allowed to operate “retail to go” beginning next Friday. It sets standards on retailers for opening and more details will be released in the coming days.
Abbott said additional openings could be announced on April 27, including the possibility of reopening of restaurants and movie theaters.
“We will prepare a phased in strategy to reopen Texas in a safe way,” Abbott said.
Revised plans will be announced and based on the level of COVID-19 cases and containment the state.
More to come on this developing story.