Below is a recap from the Abilene Chamber Director of Government Affairs, Doug Williamson, from Governor Abbott’s Press Conference:
Abbott stated the taskforce he has formed will take recommendations from doctors, and along with data will drive decisions for reopening.
On April 22, restrictions on medical procedures and surgeries will be loosened. Abbott gave an example of being able to have a test for cancer.
Actions will need to be enhanced for nursing homes to control infections and they will need to limit staff movement between facilities.
Retail – all stores in Texas that can do “to go” operations may open for those type of activities next Friday, April 24. Delivering to cars, homes, etc. People cannot go into stores. More on this here.
State Parks will reopen Monday, April 20. Citizens will need to wear masks and practice effective social distancing with the exceptions of families. No groups larger than five.
It is unsafe to reopen school for the remaining of the public school year – public, private or higher educations. They are closed. Teachers may go to classrooms if necessary, for teaching remotely or for paperwork.
Abbott stated testing is a core component and testing will rise in numbers. New testing will come from the private sector and there will be additional ways of conducting the testing.
When you begin to open an economy with no vaccine, there is a possibility of the spread. Governor Abbott stated that his team will use containment strategies and enhanced testing strategies. If a spread arises in a single community, there should be restrictions there, but not necessarily statewide.
When asked about employees being concerned about going back to work, the Governor responded, Employees should not be coerced to go back to work. Employers should employ all the best safety strategies to protect employees and customers.
When asked about possible resurgence of the virus after “Texas opens,” the Governor said, When you begin to open an economy with no vaccine, there is a possibility of the spread. We will use containment strategies and enhanced testing strategies. If a spread arises in a single community, there should be restrictions there, but not necessarily statewide.
The Governor’s order to stay home expires on April 30. On the April 27, his team will consider the elimination of the stay home policy if the data supports the decision. A follow-up press conference with additional recommendations from the Governor and his taskforce will take place on April 27.
View the press conference in full here.