Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued three executive orders Friday that outline how to reopen the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
GA-15 The governor said that restrictions that have been in place for certain types of medical procedures and diagnostic tests in order to ensure there were enough hospital beds in the event of a coronavirus surge will be loosened starting April 22.
GA-16 All retailers in Texas should be allowed to operate with to-go strategies, beginning next Friday, April 24. To look up participating businesses, go to dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus.
GA-17 Abbott said the Strike Force to Open Texas, which will consist of medical experts, including Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, as Chief Medical Officer of the group.
Another round of reopenings will be announced April 27 and sometime in May.
Gov. Greg Abbott set the state on a road to reopen Monday, April 20 with an announcement outlining steps to ease some coronavirus restrictions.
Here are the dates the governor announced:
An executive order will allow state parks to reopen Monday, April 20. Park visitors must wear face coverings or masks, stay 6 feet away from anyone who is not a member of their household, and limit gatherings to five people or less.
Beginning Wednesday, April 22 restrictions on elective medical procedures will be loosened. Abbott cited a diagnostic test for suspected cancer as an example.
“This will allow doctors to diagnose and treat more medical conditions without needing to get an exception,” Abbott said.
Beginning Friday, April 24, retailers considered nonessential can begin offering delivery and curbside pickup for online and over-the-phone orders, similar to the way restaurant takeout has operated during the coronavirus pandemic. Employees are required to work at least six feet apart, wear face coverings, and must be screened for symptoms before entering the building.
“This temporary plan allows you to be able to access more retailers while also minimizing contact with others,” Abbott said. “It also sets standards on retailers that ensures safe practices intended to reduce exposure to COVID-19.”
Go to https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ to view the guidelines for Texas retailers.
Come Monday, April 27 Abbott will announce additional plans to reopen the state economy.
“In these next ten days, we will prepare a phased=in strategy to open Texas in a safe way,” Abbott said.