Gov. Greg Abbott has announced plans today to reopen the Texas economy in stages and announced schools will be closed the remainder of the year. “This reopening will be driven by two things which are our what medical team advises and what the data shows,” Abbott said.
Abbott issued an executive order that will loosen restrictions on businesses, medical procedures and state parks, he said. He announced the formation of a statewide strikeforce to reopen Texas. Abbott emphasized it would be gradual steps and not everything would open at once.
Retail businesses will be able to sell items to-go, via a drive-thru set up or delivery, starting Friday, April 24, Abbott said. Updates on places with large gatherings, like restaurants, movie theaters, and bars, will come later.
Hospital data shows there is plenty of room to treat COVID-19, if needed and Abbott announced that non-emergency medical procedures can resume starting April 22. Doctors and nurses will continue treating coronavirus patients and a robust supply chain will provide enough personal protective equipment, Abbott said.
Students, at the public, private and college-level, will not return to class the remainder of the school year, Abbott said.
State parks will reopen April 20. Abbott will announce more ways to reopen Texas on April 27, he said.
“We’re now beginning to see glimmers that the worst is behind us,” Abbott said. “Together we can overcome this pandemic and prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he added. “We can get folks back to work and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”