Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on April 13 reiterated plans to issue an executive order this week that would kickstart the process of reopening the state’s economy, including guidance for businesses on how to reopen.
His remarks came after he told reporters on April 10 that he planned to issue an executive order that will “focus on protecting lives while restoring livelihoods.”
It will be “about reopening Texas businesses … in a way that will be safe for that economic revitalization,” he said.
Like most states in America, recent orders in Texas mandate residents mostly stay at home unless they’re taking so-called essential trips, in a bid to slow the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
The governor on April 13 said, “impact economically” caused by the CCP virus cannot be ignored.
“Later this week, I will outline both safe and healthy strategies where we can begin the process of going about reopening businesses in Texas and revitalizing the economy,” he said.
He highlighted that reopening the state’s economy doesn’t mean Texas will be given the all-clear.
“I have some good news; I will call it glimmers of hope with a whole bunch of red flags attached to those glimmers of hope,” Abbott said, referring to the recent drop in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.
Confirmed CCP virus cases in Texas rose to 13,906 on April 13, with 287 deaths. But the growth rate has slowed down after social distancing measures were implemented last month, officials said, while the percentage of cases requiring hospital care has remained steady at around 10 percent of those who test positive.
An estimated 2,269 COVID-19 patients in Texas have recovered, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
State officials are in contact with the White House to make sure the new guidelines will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials on the White House coronavirus task force, and economic officials such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
A slew of European nations are starting to reopen, and President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he hopes to have the United States reopen soon. The near-nationwide lockdowns have led to millions of people losing their jobs and fears of related impacts, such as higher suicide rates and shorter life spans.
“What we’re going to be doing later on this week is introducing Texas to this comprehensive team that we’ve put together … that will … evaluate what must be done for Texas to open back up, ensuring what we are doing is consistent with data, with medical analysis as well as strategies about what type of businesses will open up,” Abbott said April 13.
“This is not going to be a rush the gates; everybody is able to suddenly reopen all at once. We have to understand that we must reopen in a way in which we are able to stimulate the economy while at the very same time ensuring that we contain the spread of COVID-19. ”
A plan will be introduced to provide loans to small businesses struggling amid the CCP virus pandemic, Abbott said.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.