Governor Greg Abbott Monday announced the first phase of the State of Texas’ ongoing plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
Under Phase I, certain services and activities are allowed to open with limited occupancy, and the Texas Department of State Health Services is issuing minimum standard health protocols for all businesses and individuals to follow.
The Governor also outlined special guidance for Texans over 65 and detailed a comprehensive mitigation plan for nursing homes in Texas. The Governor also announced a statewide testing and tracing program developed by DSHS that will help public health officials quickly identify and test Texans who contract COVID-19 and mitigate further spread of the virus.
The stay-at-home order signed earlier this month will expire on April 30 afterwhich phase one will begin; however, any new outbreak of cases could see restrictions return.
The Governor’s announcement is accompanied by Texans Helping Texans: The Governor’s Report to Open Texas. This detailed report, available on the strike force website, helps Texans understand phase one by outlining the new protocols, guidance, and recommendations. The report also includes a series of Open Texas Checklists that outline DSHS’ minimum standard health protocols for all Texans.
“This strategic approach to opening the state of Texas prioritizes the health and safety of our communities and follows the guidelines laid out by our team of medical experts,” said Governor Abbott. “Now more than ever, Texans must remain committed to safe distancing practices that reduce the spread of COVID-19, and we must continue to rely on doctors and data to provide us with the safest strategies to restore Texans’ livelihoods. We must also focus on protecting the most vulnerable Texans from exposure to COVID-19. If we remain focused on protecting the lives of our fellow Texans, we can continue to open the Lone Star State.”
By way of Executive Order (GA-18), all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls are permitted to reopen on Friday, May 1. These services must limit their capacity to 25 percent of their listed occupancy. Within shopping malls, the food-court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed.
All museums and libraries may open under the same 25 percent occupancy limitation, but interactive areas of museums must remain closed. State libraries and museums will open by May 1, and local public museums and libraries may reopen only if permitted by the local government. Single-person offices may reopen as well.
Churches and places of worship remain open. Outdoor sports are allowed to resume so long as no more than four participants are playing together at one time. Certain social distancing practices must also be followed. Local government operations, including county and municipal government operations relating to permitting, recordation, and document-filing services, may reopen as determined by the local government.
Read more on this story in the mid-week Bowie News.
Christmas comes to Montague County this weekend
Christmas comes to Montague County this weekend.
Schedule of events
Dec. 2, 5-8 p.m., Sip & Stroll downtown
4-6 p.m., Bowie Economic Development Corporation Open House, 101 E. Pecan.
Dec. 3 – 7-10 a.m., Pancakes with Santa, fire hall.
Elf ‘N’ Magic, 8-11 a.m., Bowie Library.
Christmas Village, 3 p.m. to after parade, 104 N. Smythe.
Live entertainment on Smythe by Christmas tree, starts at 5 p.m.
Christmas tree lighting, 6:45 p.m.
Fantasy of Lights parade, 7 p.m.
The Smalltown Christmas 4:30 -6:30 p.m. Parade downtown starts the evening with other activities at Mary Beckham Davis Park.
Leadership Day added to youth fair
By BARBARA GREEN
In an effort to grow and expand opportunities through the Montague County Fair, the fair board has added a Leadership Day on Jan. 4 that will feature public speaking and robotic contests, skill-a-thons and a barbecue cooking contest.
The 2023 Youth Fair will take place Jan. 4-7 at the Montague County Agriculture Center at the H.J. Justin Community Room and Nocona Community Center, all in Nocona. Entries opened Dec. 1 and continues through Dec. 15. Read all the rules and entry information at https://sites.google.com/view/montaguecountyyouthfair/.
Kristy Tillman, president of the youth fair, said the idea for expanding contests into areas other than livestock, home economics and shop has been discussed in recent times after seeing newer events in some of the larger stock shows.
Read the full story on the new leadership day in the weekend Bowie News.
Bowie ISD staff feels good about where its facilities are with the safety standard
By BARBARA GREEN
Texas school districts received the latest school safety standards and have begun checking the status of their buildings and how they are going to pay for the updates required by the state.
Spurred by the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde where 19 children and two adults were killed, Gov. Greg Abbott charged the Commissioner of Education Mike Morath with rule development to ensure existing school facilities are held to heightened safety standards and to determine costs of more secure facilities in schools. On Oct. 3, the governor also appointed John P. Scott as the new Texas Education Agency chief of school safety and security.
With these directives and $400 million in additional school safety funding, districts have been informed of the standards rule and state-funded grant opportunities, plus information on the silent panic alert technology grant now available.
The commissioner is proposing legislation to address school safety and ensure minimum school safety standards. It requires all school system instructional facilities have access points that are secured by design, maintained to operate as intended and be appropriately monitored.
Read the full story in the weekend Bowie News.
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