• 70°

Abbott to reopen Texas in stages, schools will remain closed

By Dawn Burleigh

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Texas showed true Texas fashion in response to COVID-19.

“In true Texas fashion, to came together to slow the spread of COVID-19 which truly held save lives,” Abbott said during a press conference on Friday.

Abbott announced a task force as part of an executive order he issued to begin reopening Texas in a safe manner in continued prevention of the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are beginning to see glimmers of the worse could soon be behind us,” Abbott said. “It is not close to the early dire predictions. Texas is second in the number of recoveries from the virus.”

Checking temperatures, social distancing, masks and gloves will remain part of the new normal as the governor slowly reopens Texas so the economy may start it’s recovery process.

While the governor will announce more changes on Monday, April 27, for now, surgeries, which had been on hold due to the pandemic can be scheduled now. Included in those procedures is diagnostic tests for cancer.

“We have to go slow to ensure we don’t have to shut down again,” Abbott said. “We have to make sure there is a minimum or no threat of spreading the virus.”

Next Friday, April 24, retailers will be able to open under Retail To Go.

“Retailers have shown us they can operate without having people in the store,” Abbott said. “In one week, they can reopen with Retail to Go.”

State Parks will reopen on Monday, April 20 with restrictions.

“Your physical and mental health is important. State Parks will reopen on Monday,” Abbott said. “Visitors must wear masks or scarves and maintain six feet from non-family members. They cannot gather in groups larger than five.”

Abbott also added it would be unsafe for schools to reopen for this school year.

“The 2019-2020 school year is closed,” Abbott said.

The closings affect public, private and higher education.

“Teachers will be allowed in the schools for video teaching or to clean out their classrooms,” Abbott said.

He added advisement for graduations would be directed to the schools.

More business and guidelines will be issued on Friday, April 27 and more in May if the spread of the virus continues to decrease.