May 5, 2020 5:34 PM
May 5, 2020
Gov. Abbott this afternoon provided another update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and the next phase of re-openings. Here are the highlights.
• Effective Friday, May 8: Cosmetology salons — hair salons, nail salons, tanning salons and barber shops — will be allowed to open with restrictions, including one customer per stylist and appropriate social distancing. The governor also strongly recommended masks for both stylists and customers, and using a reservation system to avoid grouping of walk-ins in waiting areas
• Effective Monday, May 18: Gyms and exercise facilities will be able to reopen with 25% capacity. Initial restrictions will include showers and locker rooms remaining closed, requirements for customers to wear gloves covering their whole hand, and the disinfection of all equipment after each use. Distancing will of course be required as well, and any equipment brought in (such as a yoga mat), must be disinfected before and after use.
• Non-essential manufacturing and other offices will be welcome to reopen Monday, May 18 to the greater of the following: five employees, or 25% of their workforce, provided that social distancing can be maintained
• Guidelines are still being worked out for bars, and the governor has requested that owners reach out to provide feedback
• Weddings, funerals, memorials and burials may now take place with the same regulations as religious services for a seated arrangement, with receptions following the regulations of restaurants
• More testing occurred statewide in Texas in the past two weeks than in all the time before that, and they will continue to expand testing in the weeks ahead
• The percentage of positive cases as compared to tests has continued to lower in recent weeks, down to 4.65% as of yesterday
• Texas recovery figures have now outnumbered active cases for four days, and hospitalizations are holding steady at about 10% of cases
• Gov. Abbott also reaffirmed that while outdoor seating areas at restaurants do not have the same 25% capacity restrictions as indoor spaces, other regulations such as spacing between tables still apply.
Similarly, he clarified that regulations currently applied to state parks also apply to the state’s beaches, lakes and rivers, including river rafting; those restrictions include maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others, and having no more than 5 in a group unless your party are all members of your household.