Governor Abbott held a press conference on Sept. 17, 2020 at 12 p.m. providing COVID-19 updates for the state of Texas.
- retail stores
- office buildings
- manufacturing facilities
- gyms/exercise facilities and classes
May increase capacity from 50% to 75%, as soon as Monday Sept. 21, 2020.
Hospitals in 22 regions are allowed to offer normal elective procedures immediately. Hospitals excluded from the new reopening stage include Valley, Laredo, and Victoria regions as they are still “in the danger zone.”
Nursing homes and assisted living centers are allowed to reopen for visitations under certain standards on Sept. 24, 2020.
Under new rules, residents will be allowed to designate up to two essential family caregivers.
These essential caregivers will need to undergo necessary training to allow them to safely go inside the facility for a scheduled visit, including the resident's room. Designated caregivers will not be required to maintain physical distancing, however, only one caregiver may visit a resident at the time.
Facilities are required to train essential caregivers on the proper infection control measures. Personal protective equipment must be used at all times during the scheduled visit. Essential caregivers must also test negative for COVID-19 14 days prior to the initial visit. Other visitation requirements include the facility not currently being under a COVID-19 outbreak.
For individuals who are not a designated essential caregiver, the updated emergency rules will allow approved facilities to schedule outdoor no contact visits such as open window visits and indoor visitation with the use of plexiglass barriers.
Governor Abbott also announced that the state is not yet ready to reopen bars. Although, Texas officials noted they are currently looking for new ways to let bars reopen safely. Abbot stated that bars are “nationally recognized” as COVID-19 spreading locations and will not be allowed to reopen at this time.