Abbott extends reopenings to salons, barbershops and gyms


POOL, Miguel Gutierrez, Texas Tribune

Gov. Abbott announces updates for the state, Friday, April 17, at the State Capitol.

Gabriella Ybarra, Managing Editor

Gov. Greg Abbot held a press conference May 5 announcing the reopening of salons and gyms starting May 8.

Hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons and nail salons will be able to reopen for business with certain restrictions. Operating stations and waiting customers must maintain at least 6-feet separation, and stylists can only assist one customer at a time.

Abbott said because of the close proximity between customers and stylists, he strongly recommends both parties to wear facemasks.

“The only safe way you can go about providing this service while ensuring we are doing everything possible to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 would be for both the person providing the service and the customer to wear facemasks,” Abbott said

In addition, gyms and other exercise facilities can reopen on May 18. Gyms will only be able to operate at 25% capacity, and showers and locker rooms must remain closed. Equipment must be disinfected after each use and customers should wear gloves that cover the entire hand.

Non-essential manufactures may also open May 18 at 25% capacity with staggered staffing to maintain social distancing.

Abbott did not reveal a plan to reopen bars across Texas and said the state is still actively working to develop a safe strategy to do so.

On April 27, Abbott announced an executive order outlining a two-phase plan to reopen Texas businesses starting May 1. Retail stores, malls, restaurants, museums, libraries and movie theaters were allowed to reopen at 25% capacity.

As of May 5, 427,210 Texas residents have been tested for COVID-19, with a total of 33,369 positive cases and 906 related deaths.

Abbott stressed that testing continues to improve across the state, revealing that 19,000 people were tested on Tuesday and that 95% of people recently tested for the virus tested negative.

Abbott also mentioned that although the number of daily hospitalizations continues to fluctuate, hospitalization rates remain either steady or steadily declining.

“What that tells us is that Texas is fully capable of being able to manage the healthcare needs of everybody that contracts COVID-19,” Abbott said. “My point is simply this, Texans as a people, Texan healthcare providers as a group, have done a remarkably effective job at responding to COVID-19.”

Individuals concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or the Hays County Local Health Department at 512.393.5520. For additional information about COVID-19, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services or the Centers for Disease Control website.

The University Star’s COVID-19 coverage can be found here.

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