Eleanor Dearman, El Paso Times
Published 1:56 p.m. MT May 19, 2020 | Updated 2:07 p.m. MT May 19, 2020
There are 924 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 21 confirmed deaths in El Paso County as of Thursday night.
El Paso Times
In the coming days, additional businesses will reopen after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the second phase of coronavirus openings.
Gyms and other exercise facilities, nonessential manufacturers and office-based employers joined the growing list of reopened businesses on Monday
Here’s what to know about what’s opening and when.
More: COVID-19 in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott announces more business reopenings, including bars
What Texas businesses are reopening?
According to Abbott’s office, the following businesses are permitted to reopen as part of the second phase of business reopenings in the state.(A note for those in El Paso: The county is operating under a different timeline. See below.)
Child care centers Massage and personal-care centers, such as tattoo and piercing studiosYouth clubs
Rodeo and equestrian events Bowling alleys, bingo halls, simulcast racing, and skating rinksBars Aquariums and natural cavernsAmateur sportsDrive-in concerts
Day youth camps Overnight youth camps Youth sportsCertain professional sportsWhat are the limitations of reopening?
There are various restrictions on the different types of businesses as they reopen, as well as health protocols that should be followed.
Massage and personal-care centers, such as tattoo and piercing studios, should keep at least six feet of distance between work stations. When bars reopen, they’ll have to operate at 25% capacity. Six feet should also be kept between groups.
Child care centers should take steps encouraging staff to wear masks and requiring children and staff to stay home when sick.
At youth club meetings, such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, meetings held indoors should be limited to 10 people, with six feet of space between individuals.
At rodeos and equestrian events, spectators are permitted but occupancy should be limited to 25%, and six feet of separation should be kept between those who do not live together.
At aquariums, zoos and natural caverns, capacity is limited to 25%. Besides restrooms, indoor portions of zoos should remain closed.
Capacity is also limited to 25% at bowling alleys, bingo halls and skating rinks, and for simulcasting.
There are also guidelines in place for the operation of day and overnight youth camps. These include training staff on “cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.”
While youth sports programs can start practices on May 31, games can’t begin until June 15, Abbott’s order states. At practices, there should only be one parent or guardian per participant. There can be spectators at games, but six feet should be kept.
Professional basketball, baseball, car racing, football, golf, softball and tennis leagues have to apply with the Department of State Health Services to hold events. Spectators cannot be present.
At amateur sporting events, members of the general public aren’t allowed.
At drive-in concerts, spectators should stay in their cars and minimize contact with those not in their same household or vehicle, the order states.
When do businesses open in El Paso?
In El Paso, Randall, Potter, Moore, and Deaf Smith counties, the second phase of business reopenings is operating under a delay and will open on May 29.
More: COVID-19 pandemic: El Paso exempted from Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest business reopenings
Are restaurants expanding capacity?
Yes. On May 22, restaurants already permitted to operate at 25% capacity may increase their capacity to 50%. This would only apply to restaurants where less than 51% of gross sales are from alcohol.
Children play areas, interactive games or arcades at restaurants should remain closed, according to a health protocol.
What guidance was given about summer school?
Abbott permitted school districts to offer in-person summer school beginning June 1. He said the schools should follow “safe distancing practices as well as all other health protocols.”
Read Abbott’s full executive order
Read the full text of Abbott’s executive order here. The health protocols for the various business reopenings are available here.
Eleanor Dearman may be reached at 361-244-0047; email@example.com; @EllyDearman on Twitter.
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