Gov. Abbott: Phase 2 of reopening delayed for 4 counties in the Texas Panhandle


AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Gov. Greg Abbott announced today that Potter, Randall, Moore, Deaf Smith, and El Paso County counties would be delayed by one week from the rest of Texas in the Phase 2 reopening process. 

“That COVID-19 spread, as well as the challenges that it poses to the region, is something that impacts the regional healthcare system, and it requires a temporary pause in the reopening process,” said Gov. Abbott.

Gov. Abbott said the area around Amarillo is suffering the fastest growth of COVID-19 in Texas, saying this problem is largely the result of meatpacking plants in the area.

Today, Gov. Abbott announced that more Texas businesses will be allowed to either reopen or open at larger capacity.

Businesses that will be able to reopen immediately include child care facilities, massage parlors, and youth clubs and sports facilities.

Then, on Friday, May 22, several other businesses will be able to open at 25% capacity, including bars, bowling alleys, bingo halls, zoos and aquariums.

Read more on Gov. Abbott’s Phase 2 expansion for reopening businesses by clicking here

“Everything in today’s order that is slated to open later this week will also open in those regions one week from this Friday, on May 29,” said Gov. Abbott. 

The governor said this will allow the communities and the state’s surge team the time needed to slow the spread and maintain hospital capacity, and ensuring that the communities can safely move into Phase 2. 

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson released a statement saying:

“The city has been working diligently with the governor’s office in formulating and crafting a response to COVID-19.

In a state the size of Texas, a one-size-fits-all policy does not always work. Keeping Amarillo and the community at the current reopening level for seven days is prudent and appropriate as we continue to address the spread of this illness in our community.

We are grateful for the cooperation with the state and with the governor in addressing the individual needs of cities and counties during this pandemic. A one-week delay in moving ahead with an additional reopening phase ensures that Amarillo can continue to maintain our health care capacity.

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson

All of Gov. Abbott’s press conference can be watched here:

The question and answer portion of the press conference can be seen here:

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