Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday announced several executive orders related to the reopening of Texas businesses that have been closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first executive order is the establishment of a statewide strike-force to study the safest strategies for a phased reopening of the Texas economy. Another executive order is related to medical procedures and loosening restrictions that had barred non-critical medical surgeries. This order will go into effect April 22.
The third executive order is related to retail businesses. All stores will be allowed to operate “Retail to Go” on April 24 while following standards set forth at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus. We encourage Galveston retailers to familiarize themselves with these standards.
In his address, Gov. Abbott also announced that all Texas schools will remain closed until the fall based on the guidance of medical advisors. In addition, beginning Monday, April 20, all state parks will reopen. However, visitors to parks will be required to wear a mask or face cover and social distance from others. Groups larger than five people will not be admitted to the parks.
The Texas Governor’s Office will announce a more detailed plan for the reopening of Texas businesses on Monday, April 27. Currently, the statewide stay-at-home order remains in place until April 30.
The City of Galveston is preparing a local plan for a phased reopening of Galveston businesses, which will be discussed during the Galveston City Council meetings on April 23 and April 30.
Mayor Jim Yarbrough and City Manager Brian Maxwell continue to hold daily calls with officials at the Galveston County Health District and the University of Texas Medical Branch, as well as industry partners to discuss what may be feasible for a phased reopening that prevents the spread of COVID-19 and protects the health and safety of our residents. The health of our residents is the top priority and will guide all decisions regarding reopening.
The City anticipates a phased and gradual reopening of Galveston businesses, as encouraged by federal and state authorities. The openings will likely occur in two-week phases to assess the medical data about new cases and determine if an opening may be causing spikes in COVID-19 cases.
At this time, all City of Galveston emergency orders remain in effect until April 30. To view the orders, visit galvestontx.gov/coronavirus.