Governor Abbott Announces Phase One to Open Texas – Nueces County to Issue Orders to Implement Locally
Comprehensive guide entitled “Texans Helping Texans” provides detailed protocols, guidance, and recommendations for businesses and consumers available for download
Texans Helping Texans can be downloaded here: Texans Helping Texans
Governor Greg Abbott today announced the first phase of the State of Texas' ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales intends to issue local guidance to reflect the new State of Texas orders. Both State and County orders will become effective Friday, May 1.
Governor Abbott’s press release, with links to new orders and other implementation guidance, can be seen at: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-announces-phase-one-to-open-texas-establishes-statewide-minimum-standard-health-protocols
Under Phase One, certain services and activities are allowed to open with limited occupancy, and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is issuing minimum standard health protocols for all businesses and individuals to follow. Phase One will allow retail stores, restaurants, malls, movie theaters, museums and libraries to operate at 25% capacity effective Friday, May 1, 2020.
Additionally, churches and places of worship remain open. Outdoor sports are allowed to resume so long as no more than four participants are playing together at one time, and certain social distancing practices must also be followed.
Judge Canales noted that the success of this phased approach depends on residents continuing to practice social distancing, good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.
“We have a tremendous challenge ahead of us, and I have tremendous confidence in Nueces County,” said Canales. “As we open up our economy, we have to keep up the practices we have learned. Do NOT let this enemy come in and destroy all the good we have worked for.”
The Governor's announcement was accompanied by Texans Helping Texans: The Governor's Report to Open Texas. This detailed report, available here (Texans Helping Texans), helps Texans understand phase one by outlining the new protocols, guidance, and recommendations. The report also includes a series of Open Texas Checklists that outline DSHS' minimum standard health protocols for all Texans.
The Governor also outlined special guidance for Texans over 65 and detailed a comprehensive mitigation plan for nursing homes in Texas. The Governor also announced a statewide testing and tracing program developed by DSHS that will help public health officials quickly identify and test Texans who contract COVID-19 and mitigate further spread of the virus.
“We must take special care to guard the health of our most vulnerable persons,” said Canales. “COVID-19 can infect anyone but takes a swift and terrible toll on those over 65. By continuing to practice everything we’ve learned over the last several weeks, we can safely revive our South Texas coastal economy and help each other recover.”