AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott discussed opening the state of Texas gradually based on the rate of spread of COVID-19 on Monday.
At a news conference, Governor Abbott revealed some of those next steps. His executive statewide essential-services-only order that is set to expire on April 30 will not be renewed.
He issued an executive order saying that restaurants, retail stores, theaters, and malls can open on May 1 at 25 percent occupancy as 'Phase One". He emphasized that the order allows businesses to reopen but does not require them to reopen. He also said museums and libraries could reopen as well but "hands-on" exhibits would need to stay closed. Under "Phase Two", he said businesses may be able to reopen with 50 percent capacity by the middle of May.
The governor mentioned that a document was created to detail the next steps. You can find that document here.
Abbott also said every industry that is not yet operational is being intensely looked at by doctors as part of his strike force to open the state. Because businesses won't be opened in the same ways and at the same times, he plans to continue making announcements as appropriate.
There have been at least 24,631 cases of coronavirus in Texas and 648 reported deaths from COVID-19 as of Monday, April 27, according to Texas HHS.