Yesterday was a whirlwind of hope, excitement, caution, and questions as Gov. Greg Abbott announced his much-anticipated PHASE ONE to re-open Texas.

Here are some highlights and dates as best as I can interpret from Gov. Abbott's announcement yesterday including the links to his live speech from his Twitter account and the official PDF executive order known as EO-GA-18 found on the official Office of the Texas Governer's page.

Previously, on April 12th 2020 Governor Abbott renewed the Disaster Declaration for all Texas counties. On April 17th, 2020, Dr. John Hllerstedt determined COVID-19 as a Public Health Disaster. On the same day, April 17th Gov. Abbott created the Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas and Gov. Abbott extended social distancing mandates through April 30th.

According to yesterday EO-GA-18 Executive Order;

April 30th at 11:59 pm Gov. Abbott has issued the expiration of the Executive Order ( GA-16) therefore on May first at 12:01 am;

  • In-store retail such as department stores can operate at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment.
  • Malls can operate at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment, however food courts and play areas must remain closed.
  • Dining rooms, such as restaurants, can operate at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment, with less than 51 percent of sales from alcoholic beverages.
  • Movie theatres, such as Cinemark, can operate at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment, per screening room.
  • Museums and libraries can operate at 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the establishment, but again any interactive displays or areas must remain closed.
  • Golf courses will be able to reopen.
  • Services provided by an individual who works alone in an office can reopen.
  • Local government operations, including county and municipal governmental operations such as utility billing offices, will reopen.
  • Religious services should be conducted in accordance with joint guidance by the attorney general.
  • Medical services can resume with the stipulation that 15 percent of hospital beds remain open to COVID-19 patients.
  • The order outlines the expectation of Texans and Texas businesses to adhere to the guidelines set forth by the CDC which states that essential businesses, reopening businesses and individuals implement social distancing, work from home if possible, and practice good hygiene, environmental cleanliness, and sanitation.
  • Individuals are encouraged to wear face coverings.
  • People over the age of 65 are strongly encouraged to continue to stay home as much as possible however when in public practice social distancing and good hygiene.
  • Salons, bars, clubs, tattoo parlors, swimming pools, amusement venues such as bowling alleys are not allowed to reopen at this time.
  • Fishing, hunting, visiting parks, outdoor sports, and physical activity outside is permitted as long as precautionary measures are taken to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
  • We are not allowed yet to visit nursing homes, state-supported living centers or senior living centers at this time.
  • Schools are to continue to remain closed.

There is an additional easy to read guideline, 'Texans Helping Texans', for Phase One protocol which is available through the Governor's office.

The city of Victoria offers its community a hotline number for any and all questions you may have as a community member regarding the newest orders or any questions you may have about COVID-19 and obtaining information and services by calling; 361. 580.5796

The following is a message from Gov. Abbott office regarding his thoughts on reopening Texas which can be found in the guideline 'Texans Helping Texans.'

"We are each called upon to be Texans: to act responsibly as we re-engage in the economy, to continue following all health precautions and sanitizing guidelines, and to care for our vulnerable neighbors. Lives depend on our actions."

TSM
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