As coronavirus cases continue to see a spike across Texas, Governor Greg Abbott today announced a temporary pause to the state’s reopening in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
“The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business,” Abbott said in a press release issued this morning.
— Matt Largey (@mattlargey) June 25, 2020
What does the “temporary pause” mean exactly?
Businesses that are currently permitted to be open under the previous phases of the state’s reopening can continue to operate at designated occupancy levels and while adhering to health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
A number of businesses have been allowed to reopen under previous phases of the state’s plan, including restaurants, gyms, bars, and retailers with various restrictions and capacity limits. At this time, it’s unclear which other businesses wouldn’t be allowed to reopen or how the long the order will last.
Earlier on Thursday morning, Abbott also ordered the postponement of elective surgeries in Texas’ hardest-hit counties, including Harris, Bexar, Dallas, and Travis, to preserve hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients.
All throughout the week, Governor Abbott has repeatedly asked residents to stay at home whenever possible and to wear a mask when in public. He repeated that message again today in his press release.
“I ask all Texans to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, washing their hands regularly, and socially distancing from others,” Abbott said. “The more that we all follow these guidelines, the safer our state will be and the more we can open up Texas for business.”