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Texas Gov. Abbott says hair salons can reopen May 8 and gyms on May 18 — with restrictions

AUSTIN, Texas -- During a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that "cosmetology salons, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and tanning salons" may reopen this Friday, May 8 under certain restrictions.

Hair stylists will be able to only work with one customer at a time. People waiting in barber shops will have to maintain 6-foot separation or wait outside. He recommended salons use an appointment system only and that stylists and customers wear masks.

On May 18, Abbott said gyms can start letting in a limited number of customers who must wear gloves and maintain six feet of distance. Gyms can only operate at a maximum of 25% of capacity. Showers and locker rooms must remain closed, and equipment must be disinfected after each use.

Abbott also announced two other kinds of re-openings for May 18. He said office buildings can open with either five or fewer workers or 25% of the workforce, whichever is greater. Manufacturers that have been deemed nonessential can also reopen May 18, as long as they limit their occupancy to 25%.

While Abbott didn't mention pools at the news conference, he said he was allowing them to reopen in a statement released later. His executive order says pools will be limited to 25% capacity, and "local public swimming pools may so operate only if permitted by the local government."

The moves come only a week after Abbott began easing restrictions on restaurants and retail stores, and he appeared to be moving faster than he suggested last week when he allowed stay-at-home-orders in Texas to expire.

He fired back at criticism over whether Texas is moving too fast during a news conference at the Texas Capitol, at one point rattling off a list of experts he says he has consulted with in making decisions, including Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force.

“How do I know that we are on an adequate trajectory, and this plan fits on that trajectory? Dr. Birx herself has said it,” Abbott said. “There’s always going to be a difference of opinion among doctors. Just like all of these experts said Texas was going to have all these massive deaths, it was going to have a high-water mark of 260 deaths per day. Never turned out to be true.”

Texas has 33,369 cases and at least 906 deaths linked to the virus as of Friday, and the virus is present in 216 out of the state's 254 counties. Abbott has emphasized that he is most closely watching the hospitalization rates in Texas that have remained steady and infection rates that are now below 5% in Texas, which is down from more than 7% two weeks ago.

The total number of tests conducted in Texas stands at 427,210, Texas Department of State Health Services figures show.

While the state's testing numbers are increasing, "we're not quite there yet," Abbott said, expressing hope that forthcoming federal assistance, as well as state efforts like National Guard mobile testing teams, would further ramp up testing. He continued to focus on infection and hospitalization rates, noting they are holding steady or on a downward trend.

Coronavirus / Coronavirus Video / Health / News / Texas Politics / Top Stories / Video

KVIA ABC-7

Associated Press

Texas Tribune

Comments

19 Comments

  1. 906 dead in Texas from the COVID-19 is infinitesimal statistically. Based on a population of 29,000,000 (29 million) the death rate is 0%. But lets continue the media led panic and hysteria.

    1. The left want to sensationalize this to stay closed long enough to ruin the economy, in the hope they can blame it on Trump, but it ain’t gonna work.

      1. It already worked but the left didn’t have anything to do with it. The orange buffoon did it to himself during the afternoon virus briefings. He proved himself unfit for office.

        1. OK. So Trump creates the best economy, stock market numbers, and jobless rate in US history but it’s HIS fault the economy tanked because LIBERALS shut down the country? OK. Keep smoking what your smoking. Don’t worry, he’ll fix it again because he is the most FIT President we’ve ever had and he is the best one capable of getting us through this crisis. He fixed it once, he will fix it again.

          1. George W. Bush and Barack Obama planted the seeds that resulted in our present economy in 2009. The economy has so far survived everything the orange buffoon has done to destroy it. Ask the cotton and soy bean farmers how the orange buffoon’s trade war has helped them. Thousands of farms have been foreclosed on all over the country thanks to the orange buffoon. Get some of the economist’s journals and read up on it. Now he’s making policy that will prolong the shut down because those policies are not science and data driven. When the tax breaks for the wealthy and the corporations he touted became law it was supposed to allow for more jobs to be created. It did not. The corporations put the money in their pockets and hired NO ONE. Stock market numbers are completely meaningless to most of the country.

          2. Really? Trump is the current president effing moron! How’s the economy? Exactly. Gfy original caca maga.

        2. What worked? Wrong. The Democrats are to blame not President Trump. They had to impeach President Trump first so he wouldn’t get reelected. They were so busy trying to impeach him that they turned a blind eye to the COVID-19 issue. Pelosi was too busy tearing up the SOTU address instead of reading it. He warned about the COVID-19 February 4th the day of the SOTU address. Hello! Bush crashed the U.S. economy or did you forget. On the stock market obviously you don’t have a 401K plan or invest in stocks.

  2. First off Governor Abbott said Texans were great at following social distancing etc. yet as I watched before this briefing there were many instances where there were no social distancing and NO reporter shown had a mask on. Such a great example. Another great example was the gentleman at the end of the table on the left-hand side who coughed into his hand then was touching the mic. You also had people sharing mics and the comment along the lines of don’t worry we will sanitize it before it is used again. Take off the rainbow glasses and realize that the incubation time is still ongoing since the state opened. Why didn’t he give the cities/counties the ability to control their own regulations? I am fully aware of the Texas Disaster Act and what his authority is, however, I do not think with the size of this state he has the ability to make properly informed decisions regarding total openings, etc. I am not a Democrat nor a Republican so there is no political side-taking. I am a retired EMT I am taking the side of people’s health and I think that is being sidelined in El Paso.

    1. Thank you for your service canislupus. May I ask where you got the incubation info?
      As per the governor’s authority to close or open businesses? He can only advise. (Per the Constitution) Not mandate. Its up to the individual to determine what is best for them. As a retired EMT, was not your experience over the years that you cannot control the behavior of people? Nor prevent them from acting out irresponsibly? If we could do that, we would’t see any crime. Or do you disagree and say that you can control behavior on any individual? That would be an awesome power.

      1. Under Texas law and in the Code of Civil Procedure, the Governor of the state is granted broad powers to act in cases of disaster, riot, and public health emergencies. This is not advisory in nature. The Constitution amd Constitutional law permits this very thing and the Supreme Court has made numerous decisions supporting a state governor’s power to act in emergencies such as the one we are now experiencing

  3. I have stocks but the stock market means nothing to most Americans. The intelligence community warned the orange buffoon about the coming pandemic in early January and he downplayed it. His whole staff down played it and covered it up. We have a new whistleblower complaint filed yesterday about it. Pelosi took the advice seriously and kept asking the orange buffoon about his plans to confront it and she never got a straight answer. Can’t blame her for tearing up the state of the union address. She considers him a criminal which he is. The Nazi bastard should have been impeached and jailed 10 minutes after the first child was kidnapped on the border.

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