Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced his plans to unveil an upcoming executive order on how the Lone Star State plans to re-open during the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott held a press conference on Friday where he revealed that he would sign an executive order next week detailing how Texans can gradually get back to business as usual, but in a safe manner.
"Next week, I will be providing an executive order talking about what will be done in Texas about reopening Texas businesses," Abbott said in the news conference. He stressed that the measures would be done "in a way that will be safe for that economic revitalization."
"We will focus on protecting lives while restoring livelihoods. We can, and we must do this," Abbott added. "With Texans helping Texans; with Americans helping Americans, we can conquer this coronavirus outbreak."
"We've learned from past disasters that from suffering comes perseverance. From perseverance comes character. From character comes hope," Abbott stated. "And as we head into Easter weekend, I'm filled with hope knowing the character that Texans have shown in responding to the coronavirus in Texas."
"You can't just open up all businesses all of the sudden, because if that were to happen we would see a rise in the coronavirus again," Abbott told KVUE-TV. "So what we will be talking about next week is an executive order talking about how we're going to go about this process of opening up business, and that must include the appropriate medical strategies to make sure that we are not going to be increasing the spread of the coronavirus."
Abbott said the state is working with the White House on the upcoming plan to re-open Texas businesses. While the Texas governor did not provide any specific details, he did say that the process would be gradual.
Abbott said that Texas has yet to reach the peak of coronavirus cases and that the state will only turn the corner in the fight against the virus if Texans continue to adhere to stay-at-home restrictions. Currently, Texas has over 12,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 254 deaths from the respiratory virus.
On March 19, Abbott issued an executive order to "mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Texas." The order limited gatherings to 10 people, banned eating and drinking at restaurants and bars, closed schools, shut down gyms, and prohibited people from visiting nursing homes except for critical care.
"Working together, we must defeat COVID-19 with the only tool that we have available to us — we must strangle its expansion by reducing the ways that we are currently transmitting it," Abbott said at the time. "We are doing this now, today, so that we can get back to business as usual more quickly."