Texas Governor Halts State’s Re-Opening, Tells Texans To Stay Home
Amid increasing Covid-19 cases in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R) has halted the state's reopening and encouraged Texans to stay home to prevent further spread, according to The Texas Tribune.
- During an interview with KBTX-TV, Abbott said:
"We want to make sure that everyone reinforces the best safe practices of wearing a mask, hand sanitization, maintaining safe distance, but importantly, because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home. Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home."
- Abbott has also scaled back on a previous statewide order limiting the size of outdoor gatherings and called for the enactment of mandatory health standards for childcare facilities.
- The governor said there could be "additional announcements that may be coming later today and later tomorrow, as well as during the course of the week."
- This announcement comes as coronavirus cases in Texas continue to increase with new daily cases reaching record numbers of over 5,000 in a single day.
- The reported noted that “Abbott has been criticized in recent days for continuing to urge Texans to wear face masks in public while prohibiting local officials from fining people who don't wear them.”
Texas was one of the first and fastest states to reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting many to voice concerns that the reopening would contribute to a second wave.
- The Texas Democratic Party has criticized the way Abbott has handled the pandemic and “prematurely” reopening. They said in a statement:
"Finally, he refused to mandate common-sense mask strategies and still refuses to give any concrete policy prescriptions for the rising coronavirus cases in the state."
Bloomberg News reported that businesses previously allowed to reopen can remain in operation "but won’t be allowed to increase occupancy limits, according to a statement from the governor’s office."
Abbott has "also suspended elective surgeries in the state’s biggest cities to free hospital space as Houston ran out of intensive-care beds."