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Texas Governor Announces State Will Begin “Reopening” Process


Most of us would agree that it was a good idea to shutdown a majority of businesses for a short period of time due to the COVID crisis.

However, at some point we have to start reopening those businesses. People can only go without a paycheck for so long before they can no longer afford necessities like food.

In listening to a lot of Democrats, you would think we need to have the shutdown continue for the rest of the year. Some governors have already extended their stay-at-home orders into the middle of May.

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas understands that there’s a balance between protecting people from COVID and allowing the economy to function. He announced today that starting next week, he would begin lifting restrictions on businesses so that Texans can get back to work.

The Dallas Morning News has details on the governor’s announcement:

Gov. Greg Abbott lifted some restrictions he put on Texans during the coronavirus pandemic but said Friday that public schools should remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

While teachers may return to campuses under controlled conditions to conduct remote instruction and perform administrative duties, Abbott said traditional public and charter schools should stay shuttered to help reduce spread of the novel coronavirus.

Next week, though, Texas will allow a resumption of retail “to go” service, let health care providers perform more elective procedures and reopen state parks, Abbott announced.

While urging Texans to continue to take precautions, Abbott said:

  • Starting April 24, retailers who previously were considered nonessential may begin providing pickup service or home delivery for customers;
  • Starting Wednesday, in a bow to doctors and hospitals, restrictions on elective procedures and surgeries will be loosened. He cited biopsies for cancer as one example.
  • On Monday, state parks will again open their gates, though visitors will have to wear masks or face coverings and keep at least 6 feet away from other visitors who aren’t members of their families.

The governor acted a day after President Donald Trump outlined procedures he said states should follow for reducing public-health restrictions.

Abbott also named a “strike force” to advise him on how to conduct a phased reopening of the state economy.

“We have demonstrated we can corral the coronavirus,” Abbott said. But he cautioned, “In opening Texas, we must be guided by data and by doctors.”

On Thursday, Trump issued recommendations for governors to follow that include three phases of reopening, but also “gates” that should precede each — including a downward trend over 14 days of either documented cases of COVID-19 or positive tests as a percentage of total tests administered.

As of Friday, 414 Texans had died for reasons related to the virus.

“Deaths, while far too high, will not come close to the early dire predictions,” Abbott noted.

Responses to the governor’s lifting of restrictions appear to be overwhelmingly positive. 

Check some of them out below:

Yesterday, President Trump announced his guidelines to allow states to reopen. His plan involves three separate phases based on data. Thankfully President Trump, just like Governor Abbott, understands the importance of allowing businesses to open their doors once again.

Fox News reported yesterday on Trump's plan:

During the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing Thursday night, Trump unveiled a set of guidelines titled "Opening up America Again" as he declared that the U.S. was moving on to its next stage in the fight against the coronavirus and announced a bipartisan council of lawmakers dedicated to restarting the economy.

"We can begin the next front in our war, which we are calling 'Opening Up America Again,'" Trump said during a press briefing at the White House. "To preserve the health of Americans, we must preserve the health of our economy."

"We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time," Trump said, adding that the guidelines were "based on hard verifiable data."

He added: "Some states will be able to open up sooner than others."

The Trump administration's guidelines outline what individuals, businesses, health care workers and more should do over three phases in reopening the economy, with states only making it to the first phase if they see a decrease in the number of cases within their borders over 14 days.

The guidelines, which pass the decision on when to move to each phase to governors and local officials, are a reversal for Trump on comments made earlier this week that indicated he wanted to be the one deciding when the stay-at-home orders and business closures would lift.

Trump, who has for weeks advocated for getting back to business as quickly as possible, said he wanted to reopen the economy by Easter before extending his national social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

Also, watch the governor's press briefing below:


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