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Ahead of schedule and under budget!
Texas appears to be on the path to reopen next week.
Governor Abbott announced that plans to reopen Texas businesses via executive order will be made sometime in the coming week.
While the governor is eager to reopen the state’s economy and get Texans back to work, he said that the safety of the people comes first.
The governor compared Texas to New York City and the New York tri-state area, saying that Texas is in much better shape during the COVID-19 pandemic.
See Governor Abbott’s announcement about the upcoming executive order below:
Many experts suggest that populationdensity plays a role in how quickly the virua spreads.
While California is more populous than New York, its population isn't as dense.
New York City also has a robust transit system, which makes it easier for the virus to spread and come in contact with many more people.
Louisiana and Detroit have also been hotspots, but most of the center of the country has avoided the worst of the pandemic.
Austin, TX's KVUE has more details on the potential reopening of Texas:
An executive order regarding plans to the reopen Texas businesses is expected to come sometime in the coming week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed at a press conference on April 10.
Gov. Abbott didn't offer additional details on the executive order but said the State was focusing on protecting lives while also restoring livelihoods.
At the press conference, the governor was joined by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) Chief Nim Kidd and Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of the University of Texas System John Zerwas, MD.
The governor gave several updated numbers regarding COVID-19 at the press conference, including the total number of Texans tested, approximately 116,000; the number of Texans who have tested positive for COVID-19, 11,449; confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations, 1,532; total COVID-19 related deaths, 221; and a new statistic, the number of Texans who have recovered from COVID-19, 1,336.
According to Gov. Abbott, before being categorized as recovered, the person must go 14 days without the virus.
Additionally, the governor said there are currently more than 20,000 hospital beds available with 2,448 intensive care unit beds available and 7,834 ventilators.
Gov. Abbott said that while the number of new cases of COVID-19 is starting to level off, Texas has not yet reached its peak.
Not only do we understand more about the virus, but we also have a better ability to test people.
Test results are important because people are more likely to self-isolate and quarantine if they know that they are positive and carriers of the virus.
Likewise, people who have already been infected and have recovered are more likely to go back to work.
As the second most populous state in the nation, Texas's economy is a big part of the U.S. economic engine.
If Texas returns to work, the United States economy will be primed to come roaring back as the nationwide lockdown ends.
Fox News confirms Governor Abbott's goal of reopening the state next week:
The details of the order were not immediately clear.
On March 19, Abbott issued an executive order closing schools, restaurants, bars and gyms in the state.
“Working together, we must defeat COVID-19 with the only tool that we have available to us – we must strangle its expansion by reducing the ways that we are currently transmitting it,” Abbott said at the time. “We are doing this now, today, so that we can get back to business as usual more quickly.”
At White House on Friday, President Trump acknowledged he is also in the process of making a decision about when to ease the federal government's social distancing guidelines, a move designed to encourage states to lift their own restrictions on economic activity.
"I would say without question it’s the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make," the president said.
Late last month, the White House announced it was extending its guidelines to "slow the spread" to April 30. They were initially introduced March 16.
The president vowed Friday to listen to experts should they recommend a further extension of the guidelines.
"It's been my honor to be the president for the American people. … I have a big decision coming up and I only hope to God it’s the right decision," Trump said.
Likewise, Governor Abbott is listening to experts and advisers on how to protect people's livelihoods while also protecting their physical well-being.
As President Trump has said, the cure cannot be worse than the virus itself.
If Governor Abbott signs an executive order next week, it will be interesting to see if governors of other states that are not as impacted as New York will follow the same path.