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Abbott: Texas is as open as any state in the United States

Texas Governor Greg Abbott provides an update on the coronavirus outbreak and the state's handling of the potential spread of the disease on Feb. 27, 2020. Photo: Office of the Governor of Texas

BEXAR COUNTY, Tex. (KTSA News) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday on KTSA that the Lone Star State is leading the way when it comes to reopening businesses in the state.

“We need to understand that Texas is as open as any state in the United States,” Abbott told KTSA’s Jack Riccardi.  “Every business now is either open 100 percent or 75 percent.”

Members of his own party were protesting over the weekend the fact that businesses in the state were not completely free to open.  Currently, all businesses except bars can either operate at 100 percent or 75 percent of capacity.

As of Wednesday, bars in some counties are permitted to open if allowed by their respective county judges.  Comal and Hays counties allowed bars to reopen; Bexar County will allow bars to reopen on October 20th.

Riccardi asked the governor who he listens to when it comes to deciding when and how to reopen businesses in the state.

Abbott said he relies on scientists and data within the state to make that determination.

“You do have to go into all of the details about who is getting sick, why they are getting sick, what can be done to make sure it doesn’t spread any further than it does,” the governor said on KTSA.

When asked about why giving the county judges the decision to reopen bars, Abbott said there were some parts of the state that asked if they could delay their opening of bars.

In the case of El Paso, “They asked if they can have a pause in the reopening of bars in the region.”

The governor said there are a large number of coronavirus patients using hospital beds in the El Paso area, a metric Abbott has said in the recent past he uses to determine what areas are ready to reopen.

“The same thing is happening in Lubbock, Texas, right now and we are still trying to figure out why this is happening in Lubbock,” Abbott continued.  “We know there has been a massive increase in the number of students at Texas Tech testing positive, but it seems like it has infiltrated into the community itself.”

The governor said the state continues to work its way toward a complete reopening, but steps have to be taken to keep the spread of the coronavirus under control to ease the burden on the state’s medical systems.


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