Governor Abbott Issues Three Executive Orders


Retail To Go Allowed Beginning April 24

“We’re now beginning to see glimmers that the worst of COVID-19 may soon be behind us,” Abbott said. “We have demonstrated that we can corral the coronavirus.”

The Governor’s second Executive Order (GA-16) relates to the safe, strategic reopening of select services and activities in Texas. Next Friday, on April 24, retail outlets in the state of Texas wil be allowed to reopen using a “Retail-To-Go” model. All establishments  that reopen under this model, reopened establishments are required to deliver items to customer’s cars, homes, or other locations to minimize contact.

Under this Executive Order, schools—including public, private, and higher education institutions—will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers may go into the classroom for video instruction, to perform administrative duties, and to clean out their classrooms.


Abbott GA-16
Gov. Greg Abbott announced a strike force in charge of taking steps to re-open the Texas economy at a press conference at the Capitol on Friday.
(lo-rez; hi-rez tk)

Surgery Restrictions Are Lifted

The Governor’s third Executive Order (GA-15) relates to hospital capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the COVID-19 response. The order loosens restrictions on surgeries put in place by Governor Abbott in March. Beginning at 11:59pm on April 21 through 11:59pm on May 8, all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities must continue to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without timely performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death as determined by a patient’s physician. Exceptions now include:

  • Any procedure that, if performed in accordance with the commonly accepted standard of clinical practice, would not deplete the hospital capacity or the PPE needed to cope with COVID-19, or
  • Any surgery or procedure performed in a licensed health care facility that has certified in writing to Texas HHSC both (1) that it will reserve at least 25% of its hospital capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients, accounting for the range of clinical severity of COVID-19 patients, and (2) that it will not request any PPE from any public source—whether federal, state, or local—for the duration of the COVID-19 disaster.


All Texas state parks will reopen on Monday, April 20 with strict guidelines to reduce transmission of COVID-19. Visitors are required to wear face coverings, maintain a six-foot distance from individuals outside of their party, and gatherings of more than five are prohibited.

Rep. Chris Turner Issues Statement

Rep. Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie), Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, issued the
following statement in response:

“We want the Texas economy to fully reopen as soon as possible and public
health experts agree that can only happen with robust testing in place. When it
comes to decisions about how to defeat COVID-19, we have to continue to
follow doctors’ orders.”

“Texas continues to be in the bottom three states when it comes to COVID-19
testing per capita, and Gov. Abbott has failed to provide a clear plan for how
Texas will increase testing. We have heard for weeks that there are ‘encouraging
signs’ more testing is coming, but it never seems to happen. We need to
dramatically increase testing, right now.”

On April 27, Abbott promised to have another announcement about additional steps to re-open Texas.