HOUSTON — Texas pushed its way out of a statewide coronavirus lockdown on Friday, a wide-ranging reopening of restaurants, businesses and beaches in the midst of an ongoing outbreak that still left at least one local official hoping for even more. Keough ultimately backed down, but the question of whether Texas is capable of doing anything halfway was much on the minds of mayors, residents and public health experts across the state as residents poured into malls and ordered pitchers of beer at Tex-Mex restaurants. How far would people who have been locked up for weeks push their newfound freedoms? How seriously would employers, workers and customers follow protocols about masks and distance?
Texas pauses reopening plan and elective surgeries as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise
Texas Will Start Reopening Businesses Including Restaurants and Movie Theaters on May 1
Protests continue in Texas as demonstrators call for all Texans to get back to work; Casey Stegall reports. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott detailed plans on Monday to reopen the state for business amid the coronavirus pandemic — allowing places like retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters to open up to customers at a limited capacity by Friday May 1. Along with retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters, Abbott said that museums and libraries can also reopen on Friday at a 25 percent capacity. Sole proprietors of businesses can also open and doctors and dentists can resume normal operations as well.
Retail-to-go begins as first phase of Texas businesses reopening
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the next phase of reopening the state's economy during a Monday afternoon address. Abbott, who issued a stay-at-home order on March 30, said he would let that order expire on April 30 as the state begins its first real phase of reopening. Abbott said the reopening would employ safe standards for businesses for employees and their customers, and would be done in a safe and consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that would take place in careful phases starting May 1, and continuing over the next several weeks. The first businesses allowed to reopen on May 1 include retail stores, shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, museums and libraries. The businesses will operate at 25 percent of capacity to ensure proper social distancing, he said.
The business has been closed now for a month and a half. In announcing the plan last week, the governor said he hoped to be able to make that happen on May 18, just two weeks from now. He began graphing the data shared by the city and the state to see for himself what was happening. Of course, those are numbers the governor warned would go up. Whitfill, though, looked at other numbers too.