Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Governor Abbott Reveals COVID-19 Re-Opening Plans

In an afternoon press conference, Governor Greg Abbott revealed his plan to re-open the Texas economy.

The Governor issued several executive orders that lay out a phased opening strategy that touches healthcare, restaurants, retail, schools, and state parklands. The re-opening plan also includes testing requirements and social distancing strategies.

He indicated that Texas’ stay-at-home order stays in place until April 30. Still, today’s actions ease some of the current restrictions, including surgery limitations at hospitals and healthcare facilities, allowing for retail stores to shift to a purchase and pick-up model, and re-opening state parks.

The Governor also announced that Texas public and private schools, as well as universities, will remain closed to in-person classes for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.

He said earlier in the week that any re-openings and easing of social distancing requirements would be “tied to our ability to contain the spread of the coronavirus.”

“The Governor’s action is the first step of many that we will have to take to re-open Texas and, in turn, Southlake,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “The Council and I will also be looking to Tarrant and Denton Counties for their plans to ease current restrictions.”

Mayor Hill also stated that while she asked Councilmembers Shawn McCaskill and John Huffman to oversee Southlake’s recovery effort, each Councilmember is critical to Southlake’s revitalization as they each bring unique talent and perspectives to the situation. She also noted that Southlake’s appointed board members, particularly those on the Community Enhancement and Development Corporation, will be important for working through economic initiatives.

“We need to get people back into our businesses, but we need to do it safely,” the Mayor said. “We also need businesses to tell their story in a way that helps people feel good about re-investing into the local economy. Our community partners, such as the Southlake Chamber and other local business leaders, will play a critical role.”

“Staff is already studying ideas and developing a framework and recommendations for recovery,” said Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher. “We will work closely with our partners as well as our appointed and elected officials to help our residents and businesses get back on their feet.”

Southlake is currently under several local stay-at-home orders that extend through April 30.

For the latest COVID-19 related updates and links to county, state, and federal sites, visit www.ProtectSouthlake.com. For a list of City E-Services, restaurants, grocery stores, and other essential businesses that are helping Southlake get through the stay at home order, visit www.CityofSouthlake.com. Finally, be sure to follow Mayor Hill’s Facebook page and the City’s social media for the latest City news and to stay connected with us and each other.