Gov. Abbott hints at ‘next steps’ of plans to reopen Texas economy amid COVID-19

Gov. Abbott hints at ‘next steps’ of plans to reopen Texas economy amid COVID-19
Gov. Greg Abbott hosted a roundtable on the upcoming flu season at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas on Thursday. (Source: Gov. Greg Abbott's office)

(KLTV) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he hopes to provide updates as early as next week about the next step the state will take for COVID-19 restrictions.

The governor made the comment while responding to a question on Twitter in which someone asked for clarity on the future of the restaurant industry.

In Texas, bars and nightclubs are still closed and restaurants can only operate at 50-percent capacity. Hair and nail salon capacity is limited because of 6-foot social distancing recommendations, which is also applied at churches and other places of worship. Stores and other businesses are still heavily restricted and implement a variety of mask protocols and social distancing guidelines.

Abbott has previously said that his “red flag” benchmark was a 10-percent positivity rate. Data from the Department of State Health Services on Wednesday showed the positivity dipped below the 10-percent measure for the first time since summer began.

“If the positivity test rate is more than 10-percent, that’s one of those red flags that we begin to look at,” Abbott said during a press conference in June. “Not if it’s just a one-off day of testing more than 10-percent, but if there are multiple days and a trend line begins by getting us back up to a 10-percent positive ratio of those being tested and the being tested positive, that is a warning flag for us to keep track of.”

In addition to hinting that an announcement could be coming soon, Abbott wrote, “I said last month that Texas wouldn’t have any more lockdowns — despite demands from mayors & county judges insisting on lockdowns. Since my last orders in July, COVID-19 numbers have declined — most importantly hospitalizations.”

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