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Week in review: Texas economy partially reopens during coronavirus pandemic

The Texas economy partially opened this week with some rules. Many still want COVID-19 testing. And do you have to take your job back, even if you don’t feel safe?

HOUSTON — Governor Greg Abbott reopened the state this week on a limited basis. Stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, libraries and museums (except for hands-on exhibits) can operate at 25 percent capacity.

RELATED: Retail stores, movie theaters, restaurants and malls able to reopen May 1, Gov. Abbott says

“We are Texans. We got this,” the governor said in his Monday press conference.

But who’s going to enforce that and how? The City of Austin is trying to figure it out.

"We have nothing specific to provide at this moment. We are currently still reviewing those orders and hopefully will have more clarity soon," said Jorge Ortega, City of Austin spokesperson.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt told KVUE enforcement of this order will be complaint driven.

Same in Houston, where the fire chief told KHOU 11 his department does business code enforcement and the police enforces the outdoor areas.

Businesses will have to do all the monitoring themselves. To make this work, the restaurants say they need customers’ help, reported KHOU 11’s Ron Trevino.

KHOU 11 has been asking the governor’s office for enforcement details since Tuesday. The governor’s office has not provided us any answers.

Since people are slowly starting to go back to work, here’s what you need to know from the Texas Workforce Commission.

Due to COVID-19, Texas Workforce Commission issues this guidance:

“Each unemployment insurance claim is currently evaluated on an individual basis. However, because of the COVID-19 emergency, the following are reasons benefits would be granted if the individual refused suitable work.

Reason for refusal:

  • At High Risk: People 65 years or older are at a higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Household member at high risk: People 65 years or older are at a higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • Diagnosed with COVID: The individual has tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not recovered.
  • Family member with COVID: Anybody in the household has tested positive for COVID-19 by a source authorized by the State of Texas and is not recovered and 14 days have not yet passed.
  • Quarantined: Individual is currently in 14-day quarantine due to close contact exposure to COVID-19.
  • Childcare: Child’s school or daycare closed and no alternatives are available.

For a bigger unemployment picture, the Texas Workforce Commission has a map that shows the situation across the state.

Here’s a link to who’s hiring, offering free job training or education by Texas regions.

People want to know where and how to get COVID-19 testing.

To find a testing location near you, click here and go to “Texas COVID-19 test collection sites” button. It should take you to an interactive map where you can pick a location based on where you live.

If the testing facility is operated by the state, the test is free.

RELATED: How the Texas Army National Guard is helping you stay safe during COVID-19 pandemic

Before COVID-19, a lot of people used to visit Shangrillama in Royce City, near Dallas.

The llamas miss seeing people and people miss seeing llamas. Thanks to the internet connection, the llamas are back in business. You can sign up online, and you can do a llama meet and greet, learn llama facts or answer llama trivia.

It’s not quite the same as seeing llamas in person, WFAA’s reporter Sean Giggy writes, but in a time like this, it can be a nice distraction.

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
  • Follow social distancing

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.

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