April 27, 2020
At a press conference this afternoon, Governor Abbott noted that there has been a decline in the number of confirmed cases. Additionally, the state is in the top three across the country of recoveries.
As a result, the “Stay at Home” Order will expire on April 30 throughout Texas. It is still recommended that individuals wear masks when they are in public spaces, but the mandates in other parts of the state will no longer be in force.
After much study and direction from data and doctors, the Governor has announced a two-phase program that incorporates a strategic approach, so “we don’t reopen only to close back down again.” Each phase includes an occupancy and safety standards mandates. It does not require a business to open if the owner feels unsafe.
Components of Phase 1 go into effect on Friday, May 1:
- All retail stores, restaurants, malls and movie theaters
- Museums and Libraries, however all interactive, hands-on displays must remain
- Outdoor sports so long as there are no more than four (4) participants
- All licensed healthcare professionals
- Hospitals, but must reserve 15% of beds must be set aside for COVID-19
- Occupancy limited to 25% of capacity
The Governor also stated that counties registering five (5) or less positive cases, MAY increase their capacity to 50%, which Aransas County, the City of Rockport and the Town of Fulton will follow.
As for parks, beaches and boat ramps, we need to confer with the Governor’s office to get more detailed information. This will be announced by April 30.
Please note that bars, gyms, spas, beauty salons and barbershops ARE NOT being allowed to open at this time. The Strike Force team continues to look at best management and safety practices before they can reopen.
Phase 2 is dependent on what happens over the next two weeks. If there are no flare-ups in cases, the occupancy rate will be expanded to 50% effective May 18. The 64-page report is available at https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/organization/opentexas/OpenTexas-Report.pdf.