Governor Abbott Announces Plans for Restarting Texas Economy
Houston — April 17, 2020 Yesterday afternoon, President Trump unveiled his three-phase plan for reopening businesses in America. Before it can be initiated, his plan requires:
- a sustained downward trajectory of new positive coronavirus cases over a 14-day period,
- a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses reported within a 14-day period,
- a return to pre-crisis conditions at hospitals, and
- the availability of safe and efficient screening and testing sites and personal protective equipment
The President’s address provided an outline for the phased recovery. However, President Trump made it clear that the initiation of his plan will be made on a state-by-state basis with each state being left to decide for themselves when the time is right.
Today, Governor Abbott signed multiple Executive Orders initiating the first phase of the President’s plan in Texas. Schools will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year and large gatherings are still prohibited. The first steps back to normalcy will include:
- A “Strike Force” established to advise the Governor on reopening businesses in the state;
- Reopening of state parks beginning April 20, 2020;
- Allowing health care professionals and facilities to perform surgeries and procedures as long as they do not deplete COVID-19 related hospital capacity or necessary personal protective equipment starting April 22, 2020;
- Allowing stores not considered essential businesses to operate “retail to go” delivery or pick-up beginning April 24, 2020; and
- Allowing teachers the ability to go into the classrooms individually for video instruction or to perform administrative duties.
This is truly an unprecedented time that seems to change every day. Like all of you, our firm has had to pivot to address the daily changes and challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last 40 days, we have been assisting clients with the many changes and new issues that seem to pop up daily. We’ve worked with changing workforce and paid leave issues, counseling through the Payment Protection Plan “loan” application process, addressing business interruption claims and assisting with increasing non-payment conflicts. Our employment group is tackling labor shortage and non-performance issues and advising clients regarding new and increased safety concerns. We have been discussing restructuring and bankruptcy options, analyzing delay and impact claims, while also evaluating force majeure claims. We’ve also been evaluating and reporting on the orders issued by all levels of government. Fortunately, however, the changes over the last 24 hours have started shaping a path to a phased recovery of business and life as we know it in Texas.
For complete copies of the Executive Orders, we’ve provided links below:
While these Executive Orders only reopen a small portion of Texas for business, they are a start. Andrews Myers is watching for more details and will update you with more information as we receive it.
For more information, please contact Tim Ross.
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Founded in 1990, with offices in Houston and Austin, Andrews Myers, Attorneys at Law, is a corporate law firm and recognized market leader in Texas construction law. The firm focuses on the concentrated disciplines of commercial litigation, construction, commercial real estate, corporate and business transactions, with additional emphasis on related issues including bankruptcy and insolvency, energy, employment and capital formation. A seasoned team of attorneys provides timely and cost-effective solutions to the most complex problems facing entrepreneurs and middle-market industry leaders throughout the state and the nation. For more information please visit www.andrewsmyers.com.