Texas begins slow reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic

(Cover photo: Wesley Weaver and his brother Coby Weaver of Dallas join protesters demanding an end to the state’s extended stay-at-home order to help slow the spread of coronavirus at the Capitol building in Austin, Texas on April 18. Reuters/Nuri Vallbona)

 

HOUSTON, TX — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently announced that Texas will begin to lift restrictions across the state and reopen its economy — with safety precautions in place — amid the pandemic.

“The economic damage has hit even more Americans than the coronavirus itself. Businesses have shuttered, paychecks have disappeared. Food bank lines are swelling across Texas as more families seek food they desperately need,” said Abbott.

All public, private and higher education schools would still remain closed for the rest of the school year.

“The team of doctors advising us have determined that it would be unsafe for students to gather in schools for the foreseeable future.”

But on Monday, state parks will reopen for recreational activity, so long as citizens wear masks and maintain social distancing rules.

On Wednesday, hospitals will be allowed to conditionally resume elective tests and surgeries.

“Texas has plenty of hospital capacity, we have a solid supply of PPE and many of our doctors and nurses have patients that desperately need medical treatment.”

On Friday, stores can reopen, as long as they use “to-go” options and social distancing is observed.

“This temporary plan allows you to access more retailers, while minimizing contact with others.”

The day after the announcements, hundreds of protesters marched on the Texas Capitol, demanding the reopening of businesses in the state.

Texas Filipinos are eager to return to normalcy.

“Combined with public disinfecting measures, the masks, social distancing, all that makes me feel starting to reopen the economy is the right thing to do,” said Marcos Helms.

Some are still unsure about reopening the economy just yet.

“Local medical and public health officials say we haven’t really seen the peak, until we reach that peak and see a downward trend, I really feel that it is too soon,” said Catherine Shepherd, Texas resident.

In a statement provided to BA, the office of the Philippine Consul General of Texas, advised Texas Filipinos to remember that:

“… The easing of restrictions must not be taken as a signal to ease our guard and be careless.”

“We have a responsibility … Individually and collectively we can make our community safer.”

The executive order is set to put Texas on track to match the federally suggested timeline.

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