Texas to allow increased reopening of businesses, visitation at nursing homes

Talk 1370 Newsroom
September 17, 2020 - 12:33 pm
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Office of the Governor

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Businesses including retail stores, restaurants, gyms, and office buildings will be able to open at 75% capacity beginning Monday in much of the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday.

"With the medical advancements we have made and the personal hygiene practices we have adopted, Texans have shown that we can address both the health and safety concerns of COVID-19 while also taking careful, measured steps to restore the livelihoods that Texans depend on," Abbott said. "Achieving both goals requires safe standards that contain COVID-19, emphasize protecting the most vulnerable, and establish clear metrics that the public can depend on. That is why today we have announced expanded occupancy standards for a variety of services."

The increased re-opening threshold will focus on the state's 22 hospital regions. If a region has less than 15% of its total hospitalizations due to COVID-19 for 7 consecutive days, the region can be considered safe for more re-opening. As of right now, three regions - the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and Victoria - are above the 15 percent threshold and will remain at 50% occupancy.

For the other 19 regions across the state, here are the latest re-opening guidelines:

  • Retail stores, restaurants, gyms, office buildings, and factories can move to 75% capacity beginning Monday, September 21
  • Hospitals can move to resume elective procedures
  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can allow visitation, with certain health protocols in place beginning Thursday, September 24

Abbott said bars will remain closed for now. "Bars are nationally recognized as COVID spreading locations," Abbott said. "We are focused on finding ways to get them open."

Abbott said following the state's health guidelines is an important piece to keeping the state's re-opening going. "Texans should remember that a steady and significant decline in COVID-19 cases is not a sign to let up in our vigilance against the virus," Abbott said. "Instead, Texans must continue to heed the guidance of medical experts by wearing a mask, social distancing, and practicing proper sanitation strategies. By maintaining health and safety standards that are proven to mitigate COVID-19, we can continue to slow the spread while opening up the Texas economy." 

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