4.27.20 // Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas Report
27 Apr 2020
GOVERNOR'S STRIKE FORCE TO OPEN TEXAS REPORT
- The infection rate has declined over the past 17 days.
- Hospital capacity is abundant
- Texas has the third most recoveries from COVID in America.
- Tripled the Texas Work Force Commission staff to more than 2000 and more than 1.9 million claims have been filed. $2 billion paid in unemployment benefits. Texans back to work are what today is about.
- April 30 - Stay Home Order will expire.
- Phase 1 – begins Friday, May 1.
- Phase 2 will be announced on May 18 if we can contain the spread of COVID-19 during Phase 1 which will then open more businesses and expand operations. - Vulnerable populations must remain home if possible and redouble efforts to protect senior living centers.
Four items necessary to open Texas:
1) Commitment to safe distancing practices to reduce the spread of COVID
2) Reliance on doctors and data for the safest strategy
3) Focus on protecting the most vulnerable from exposure to COVID-19
4) Entrepreneurs drive the Texas economy and they need to restore livelihood.
Phase 1 Defined:
- Restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters, and malls can reopen. Occupancy to no more than 25%. This Order “supersedes all local orders.” When ready, Phase two will expand occupancy to 50% and further increases will be allowed in the future. Allows businesses to reopen, but doesn’t require them to do so. This is permission to reopen, but a business can stay closed if they choose.
- Museums and libraries can open at the same 25% capacity, but interactive areas with hands-on exhibits must remain closed. “It is up to the local government to decide if they are able to open.” The state will open libraries and museums by May 1 or soon thereafter.
- Sole proprietors can safely return to work now.
- Churches can expand capacity. Importance of safe distancing practices to ensure church members safe.
- Outdoor sports are allowed as long as no more than 4 participants are playing together at once. Ex: golf/ tennis.
- Licensed healthcare professionals can return to work with little restrictions. Hospitals must retain a 15% capacity for COVID-19 patients.
- To protect rural counties from being punished, a different standard applies to counties with 5 or fewer cases. It can increase capacity to 50% if 5 or fewer cases.
A Child care task force is underway and he announced his Frontline Child Care website to help essential workers find child care. Can’t open bars, gyms, barbershops/hair salons – expected to open mid-May. Working on safe ways to open summer camps. Phase 2 will include more businesses and expand to a maximum occupancy of 50% and more sporting activity.
Robust testing of a tracing program will prevent the additional spread and is vital for reopening. The state has created a tracing IT application and Contract Tracing Call Center for self-reported cases.
The next stage is to add additional contact tracers and deploy application statewide Masks are a suggestion, not mandated. Strongly recommend everyone wear a mask. No jurisdiction can impose any fine or penalty for anyone not wearing a mask.
To learn more visit, http://gov.texas.gov/opentexas