As states across the country continue to reopen their economies—one state has officially hit the pause button on attempting to get back to normal. Texas has decided to pause all further reopenings due to alarming spikes in cases of COVID-19, which is largely due to residents not following health guidelines as strictly as they were during quarantine.
@CNBC reports, Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed in a recent announcement that the state will be pausing all reopening plans indefinitely—following record reports of increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. However, businesses that were previously permitted to open during the prior phases can continue to operate at the designated occupancy outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Additionally, Governor Abbott ordered all licensed hospitals in the Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties to postpone all elective procedures in order to protect hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients. To date, there are currently 4,389 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide in Texas, up from 2,793 a week ago, according to the Texas Health Department.
In a press release addressing the changes Governor Abbott said:
“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. These four counties have experienced significant increases in people being hospitalized due to COVID-19 and today’s action is a precautionary step to help ensure that the hospitals in these counties continue to have ample supply of available beds to treat COVID-19 patients.”
He also recommended Texas residents stay home unless they have to—and urged them to follow social distancing guidelines and to wear a mask when in public, saying that it “will help us to keep Texas open.”
Many businesses in Texas were granted permission to reopen in May. Restaurants, gyms, retailers, professional sports, bars and other venues were allowed to reopen with reduced capacity.
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