Governor Abbott issues Executive Orders focused on reopening Texas

Earlier today, Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference where he issued three new Executive Orders focused on reopening the State of Texas while maintaining certain social distancing guidelines. All activities permitted in the executive order allow for the Texas economy to slowly reopen and pose minimal to no threat of spreading COVID-19.

Executive order number 17 establishes the Strike Force to Open Texas. It is comprised of nationally recognized medical experts and business and community leaders who will advise the Governor on safely and strategically reopening the state of Texas.

Shortly after, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Richard Perez signed on to a statement with leaders from the Metro 8 Chambers of Commerce in support of Governor Greg Abbott’s plan to gradually reopen the Texas economy.

“As leaders of the Texas business community, we applaud Governor Abbott for focusing on the incremental steps necessary to reopen the Texas economy. We recognize this effort will need to balance public health considerations while restarting economic activity in a phased and gradual approach that guards against subsequent spikes in infections. While each of our communities are different, we recognize that businesses play a vital role in enacting specific measures to keep their workforce safe and thereby protecting the entire community. We are encouraged by the Governor’s willingness to work collaboratively with the business community. While COVID-19 will have long-term impacts on our state, smart policy decisions made now can greatly accelerate our economic recovery. We appreciate the Governor’s leadership on this issue and look forward to working with the Task Force.”

“We thank the Governor for appointing an extremely substantial group of Texas business leaders to his Special Advisory Council, and we are especially grateful for the appointment of local leaders Bruce Bugg, Elaine Mendoza, Balous Miller, Dennis Nixon, and Graham Weston. We have full confidence that they will represent our city and our business community well, and we look forward to working with them closely as we navigate through the recovery period.”

Executive Order number 16 permits retailers across the state to reopen using a “Retail-To-Go” model that will pose minimal to no threat of spreading COVID-19.

Effective April 22, Executive Order 15 will loosen current restrictions on elective surgeries and medical treatments. While restrictions will be loosened, the order requires hospitals to maintain adequate hospital capacity.

Abbott announced that schools are to remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Commissioner Morath will provide Schools Districts with more guidance soon. Abbott will announce additional ways to open the economy on April 27 and even more openings will be announced in May.