Gov. Abbott announces new COVID-19 measures to reopen Texas economy
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Monday, April 27, that he will allow his previously issued Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols to expire as scheduled on Thursday, April 30, followed by phases to reopen parts of of the Texas economy.
The first phase, set to begin on May 1, will allow retail stores, movie theaters, malls and restaurants to reopen with a maximum 25 percent occupancy.
The governor issued the following Executive Orders on April 27:
- Executive Order relating to expanding travel without restrictions as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster (coronavirus)
- Executive Order relating to hospital capacity during the COVID-19 disaster (coronavirus)
- Executive Order relating to the expanded reopening of services as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster (coronavirus)
The governor also issued a 64-page manual created by the Strike Force to Open Texas that will provide guidance on his plan to re-open Texas. The report also includes recommendations to help mitigate the further spread of COVID-19, including in long-term care facilities.
The plan focuses protecting people 65 years and older, who make up 76 percent of COVID-19 fatalities in Texas. Included is a comprehensive mitigation plan from the state Health and Human Services Commission including recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living communities.
Another essential piece of the governor’s plan is testing capacity. Texas has maximized testing capacity to perform 15,000 to 20,000 tests a day, with a goal to reach 30,000 per day in the near term with rapid turnaround. More than 300 sites across the state are now listed on the state website.
Along with testing, the plan lays out a multi-phased effort for contact tracing, which allows public health authorities to identify not only those who are ill with COVID-19 but also those individuals who have come in contact with a person who is ill. Phase I of the plan, which focused on mobilizing resources for a statewide contact tracing effort, has been completed. Phase II, which puts the contact tracing system into effect, initiated on April 27.
The Texas Department State Health Services has a list of minimum recommended health protocols for restaurants, movie theaters and places of worship, as well as more types businesses and employers in Texas, as outlined in the report. The recommendations are based on observation of effective and ineffective control methods in the field as the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed.
For more information, visit roundrocktexas.gov/coronavirus.
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Source: City of Round Rock