Texas guidelines to reopen businesses become political

The last client to go inside a Round Rock hair salon and spa was on March 24. On Thursday while the building remained locked up, one of the cosmetologists Sarah Johnson launched a plan to get back to work.

"I think that we can really do this if we implement and be very strict with the masks and the gloves,” said Johnson.

An online petition, posted by Johnson, calls on Governor Greg Abbott to allow stylists and barbers to reopen on May 1st. She proposes limiting access to one client at a time, with spacing between chairs, and other safety protocols, on top of the sanitation rules they already had before the outbreak.

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"And I think if we implemented required handwashing for every client that comes in the store and or wearing a mask for them as well,” said Johnson.

The plan may be limiting, but Johnson believes it will make a difference. "Being able to have people in our chair, for sure is better than having no people in our chair and not being able to work at all,” said Johnson.


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Abbott is expected to reveal some of the reopening guidelines he and a task force are considering on Friday. Last week he warned not to expect a mass reopening, but a phased-in approach.

“It may be based on the trajectory, is the trend going down in a particular county or particular area,” said the Governor last week during a briefing at the state capitol.

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A group that gathered at the governor's mansion Thursday wants the governor to end the stay at home orders, now. They question the crisis and how he has responded to it. "Illegal, because he doesn’t have the authority to shut down business, he doesn’t have the authority to tell me to wear a mask,” said Robert Holmes, a protestor from Montgomery County.

State Democrats have also criticized the governor. On Thursday they held a teleconference where they raised questions about how the governor can reopen businesses without triggering a rebound of the viral outbreak. For them increased testing and screening has to be a critical part of any plan.

“We’ve been told by the Governor, time and time again about the millions of PPE’s coming into the state about anticipating thousands and thousands of more test kits coming in the state but we also know right now working with our local communities that’s just not the case, we do not have adequate supplies right now in our hospitals we do not have adequate supplies in our doctor’s offices and clinics we do not have adequate supplies for our first responders, this is something we must do if we are going to opening up businesses again. We have to have those things in place,” said state Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin).

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State GOP Chairman James Dickey said the ramp up in rhetoric is an example of how you can’t take politics out of politics.

"No question, there have been focus especially on the Democrat side who have really tried to play politics with this, going back to their mantra of, not letting a good crisis go to waste, and that is sad and tragic and its really shame on them for not focusing on what’s best for our fellow Texans,” said Dickey.

The political rhetoric will continue. Texas Democrats say they will respond tomorrow afternoon to what the governor has to say about reopening businesses.


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