BREAKING: Gov. Abbott announces Texas will begin lifting some restrictions

Texas will be one of the first states to begin lifting some restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dallas News reports Gov. Greg Abbott lifted some restrictions he put on Texans during the coronavirus pandemic but said Friday that public schools should remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

While teachers may return to campuses under controlled conditions to conduct remote instruction and perform administrative duties, Abbott said traditional public and charter schools should stay shuttered to help reduce spread of the novel coronavirus.

Next week, though, Texas will allow a resumption of retail “to go” service, let health care providers perform more elective procedures and reopen state parks, Abbott announced.

While urging Texans to continue to take precautions, Abbott said:

  • Starting April 24, retailers who previously were considered nonessential may begin providing pickup service or home delivery for customers;
  • Starting Wednesday, in a bow to doctors and hospitals, restrictions on elective procedures and surgeries will be loosened. He cited biopsies for cancer as one example.
  • On Monday, state parks will again open their gates, though visitors will have to wear masks or face coverings and keep at least six feet away from other visitors who aren’t members of their families.

The governor acted a day after President Donald Trump outlined procedures he said states should follow for reducing public-health restrictions.

Abbott also named a “strike force” to advise him on how to conduct a phased reopening of the state economy.

“We have demonstrated we can corral the coronavirus,” Abbott said. But he cautioned, “In opening Texas, we must be guided by data and by doctors.”