AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Greg Abbott and other state officials announced plans to reopen businesses in Texas that have been closed and or operating in a limited capacity due to the coronavirus COVID-19.
The governor began the news conference detailing the coronavirus numbers in Texas. He said that he believes that there is beginning to be glimmers that the worst of COVID-19 is behind the state.
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Gov. Abbott says the deaths, "while far too high", will not meet the earlier projections. In fact, the governor says Texas has the second most recoveries from COVID-19 in the U.S.
It's for those reasons that the governor says he has issued an executive order to go about reopening Texas. He says it's guided by date and doctors and that the health and safety of Texans is of the utmost importance.
April 27 will be the date of additional announcements on ways to reopen the state. It will focus on containing the risk of a resurgence of COVID-19 and protecting most vulnerable Texans.
Highlights from the news conference:
- A statewide task force has been formed. It includes Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
- Opening Texas will be in phases. Retails businesses will continue to-go services. Not all businesses will reopen by May 1.
- Some medical procedure restrictions will be loosened on April 27
- State parks will reopen on April 20. Visitors will be required to wear face masks, maintain social distance of six feet with people not within their family group and will not be allowed to gather in groups of more than five.
- Schools will remain closed for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year. This applies to all public and private institutions.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 12 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.