AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott announced he is allowing the "stay home" order in Texas to expire on Thursday, April 30.
"That executive order has done its job to slow the growth of COVID-19 and I will let it expire as scheduled," Abbott said. "Now, it's time to set a new course. A course that responsibly opens business in Texas. We will open in a way that uses safe standards."
This announcement comes as the governor revealed his plan to reopen more businesses. On Friday, April 24, all stores were able to begin retail-to-go orders.
The Texas governor said those businesses won't be opened completely, but they can open in a way that is approved by doctors to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt released the following statement regarding Gov. Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas:
“Today, Governor Abbott articulated a plan for reopening businesses statewide, but did not produce a plan for reducing cases of COVID-19. I agree that business should reopen, but only in a measured manner guided by science. As County Judges, we are the agents of the state tasked with executing local plans that balance the interdependent health impacts and economic impacts of COVID-19. Travis County has more knowledge of infection and how it spreads in our community than most other communities in the State. We are better prepared to set standards of care in a phased and measured opening of businesses locally. Governor Abbott has only set an expectation of calendared reopening. I look forward to working with him to set clear expectations for a measurable advance in health and economic recovery from COVID-19, whether or not it meets his calendar.”
On April 27, Gov. Abbott also relaxed certain restrictions related to health care professionals and issued amended requirements related to hospital capacity. Under an Executive Order (GA-19) issued April 27:
- All licensed health care professionals shall be limited in their practice by, and must comply with, any emergency rules promulgated by their respective licensing agencies dictating minimum standards for safe practice during the COVID-19 disaster.
- Every hospital licensed under Chapter 241 of the Texas Health & Safety Code shall reserve at least 15% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVID-19 patients, as determined by HHSC.
Additionally, the Governor issued an Executive Order (GA-20) to eliminate the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for individuals traveling from Louisiana. Under GA-20, the mandated 14-day quarantine for travelers from the following areas remains in place: California; Connecticut; New York; New Jersey; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan, and Miami, Florida.
Dallas County has already extended its order until May 15, and Abbott hinted that was the right thing to do.
As for what this means for the Austin area, residents will have to wait for an update from Austin leaders. Austin's stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 8.
MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:
- LIST: Confirmed Central Texas coronavirus cases by county
- LIST: Austin businesses close permanently during COVID-19 pandemic
- Austin-Travis County coronavirus cases reach 1,412, 39 deaths
- Hays County reports 77 active COVID-19 cases, 1 death
- Texas COVID-19 testing still less than 1% as Central Texas counties see case increases