AUSTIN, TX — In his press conference Friday afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he was signing an executive order next week that will provide guidelines for businesses to re-open. Many businesses, particularly bars and dining areas of restaurants, have been shut down since March 19 by a previous executive order made by the governor to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“Next week, I will be providing an executive order talking about what can be done in Texas about reopening businesses,” said Abbott. He assured all that the reopening will be accomplished safely and were badly needed for economic revitalization.
“We will focus on protecting lives while restoring livelihoods. We can and we must do this,” he said.
Abbott’s announcement of his intentions to set guidelines for opening businesses comes on the same afternoon that President Donald Trump said the decision to “open up our country” will be the hardest decision he’s had to make in his life.
“It’s been my honor to be the president of the American people. … I have a big decision coming up and I only hope to God it’s the right decision,” Trump said.
Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 tracker reported 496,535 COVID-19 cases and 18,586 deaths nationwide. The Sick Map indicated that 28,790 in the U.S. have recovered from the illness caused by the coronavirus.
In Texas, 11,671 COVID-19 cases had been reported as of Friday, April 10 at 6 p.m. Of those cases, there are 226 fatalities and 1,366 recoveries. COVID-19 cases had been reported in 176 of the 254 counties in Texas with the most, 3,047, in Harris County where Houston is the county seat.
In Tom Green County, with a population of 118,019 people according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the health department has reported 33 total COVID-19 cases and one death. Of the remaining 32 cases, 11 have recovered and only one new case was announced Friday, a woman in her 60s.
Thursday, the Texas Tribune reported that 760,000 Texans had applied for unemployment benefits. That number, accumulated over just four weeks, eclipsed all jobless claims—about 700,000 in all — in Texas in 2019.