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Local reaction mixed to reopening state

Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 20:35:50-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas started this week with the lifting of a ban on elective surgeries.

It’s the first phase of his three-phase plan, but some are questioning if the move to reopen is too fast.

Abbott is expected to announce the next round of reopenings Monday, but a respected national model suggests waiting a few weeks.

The State of Texas remains under a stay at home order through April 30, but projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, models frequently cited by the Trump Administration, suggest waiting until the week of June 8 for reopening the state.

“It’s too long, there’s already business that aren’t going to be able to open back up,” Coastal Bend resident Keith Lindsay said.

Some Coastal Bend locals, like Lindsay, believe the state isn’t moving fast enough.

Retailers across the state will start curbside service on Friday, part of easing restrictions on non-essential businesses.

Abbott says the new order he issues Monday will have statewide implications on stay at home restrictions. He also promised more testing, something people here want to see.

“They just need more testing,” Ken Spencer said. “I think they’re opening up too early and letting everybody go back to work.”

Others like Spencer believe COVID-19 will get worse before it gets better.

Nueces County reported its 91st case today, breaking a four-day streak where no new cases were detected. Local doctors say that social distancing has helped keep those numbers low.

Some residents, like Rose Rodriguez, are willing to wait past June 8 if necessary.

“I’m distancing, I have three grandchildren that live two houses down from me, and I don’t see them,” said Rodriguez.

Others disagree, saying the economy needs to reopen as soon as possible.

“This country needs to get moving again, I think Corpus is ready, especially Corpus,” said Roger Olds.

Earlier this week, the chair of the Nueces County Medical Society’s COVID-19 task force told KRIS Communications that he was in favor of opening the state as long as precautions are taken to keep people safe.

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi researchers modeling the virus locally declined our request for an interview because they didn’t work on the IMHE models.