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Abbott lays out plans for reopening Texas

Posted at 4:40 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 19:03:53-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott believes Texas has responded well to the coronavirus crisis. That’s why he unveiled his plan to gradually reopen the state.

That plan will be carried out in stages.

Stage one of the governor’s plan includes lifting restrictions on non-essential medical procedures. That takes effect April 22.

“It is time to allow those doctors and nurses to return to work,” Abbott said during a Friday press conference. “However, it must be done in ways to ensure that we will be able to treat COVID-19 patients.”

On April 24, retailers across the state will be allowed to open for pick-up service and delivery. However, customers won’t be allowed inside those stores.

“This temporary plan allows you to be able to access more retailers, while also minimizing contact with others,” Abbott said.

The governor also ordered state parks reopen Monday.

The second stage starts on April 27, when the governor will announce more openings, potentially including restaurants. These openings will be completed in phases.

Phase Three is planned for May, and will include with more openings. Abbott said these reopenings will depend on statewide infection and testing levels, and will come with guidelines for safe practices.

“In opening Texas we must be guided by data and by doctors," he said. "We must put health and safety first.”

The governor also he is establishing a "strike force" made up of state leaders, medical experts, and businesses to help that gradual reopening run smoothly.