Governor Abbott Announces Plan to “Reopen Texas”
COVID-19 EMPLOYER UPDATE
UPDATED April 17, 2020
In a press conference this afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has signed three Executive Orders outlining his plan to “reopen Texas,” one of which includes the formation of a Strike Force to Open Texas to monitor and develop the “reopening” strategy. The Strike Force will bring together nationally recognized medical experts with public and private sector leaders who will advise the Governor on safely and strategically reopening business in the State of Texas. A copy of this Executive Order can be found here: Strike Force to Open Texas.
Governor Abbott also announced a plan for “Retail to Go” through a second Executive Order. In particular, “[s]tarting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, retail services that are not ‘essential services,’ but that may be provided through pickup, delivery by mail, or delivery to the customer’s doorstep in strict compliance with the terms required by DSHS” may resume operations as outlined in the Executive Order. This Order also included the following directive that schools will remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year:
In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance by students and shall not recommence before the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Public education teachers and staff are encouraged to continue to work remotely from home if possible, but may return to schools to conduct remote video instruction, as well as perform administrative duties, under the strict terms required by the Texas Education Agency. Private schools and institutions of higher education should establish similar terms to allow teachers and staff to return to schools to conduct remote video instruction and perform administrative duties when it is not possible to do so remotely from home.
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