Health experts express concern over reopening of businesses

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LUBBOCK, Texas — On Friday, some non-essential businesses will be opening their doors for phase one of reopening Texas.

In a city news conference on Thursday morning, Dr. Ron Cook with the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center expressed some concern.

“Yes, of course I’m nervous,” Cook said. “We’re going to open up Lubbock and I worry that we’re not going to maintain our social distancing, and we’re going to get more people infected.”

Graphs provided by the city indicate coronavirus cases began to plateau in mid-April, and the number of coronavirus cases have been decreasing since.

Dr. Rhyne, CMO with Covenant Health said they have been monitoring numbers very closely.

“At this point in time, we have seen an encouraging downward trend in the total numbers that we have been following on a daily basis,” Rhyne said.

Despite the fact that businesses will be reopening, city officials are encouraging folks to refrain from letting their guard down.

“Make sure we keep social distancing, that we’re washing our hands, that we’re wearing facial coverings, and that if you’re ill, please stay home,” Cook said.

Cook said he trusts the good folks of Lubbock to help make sure people are doing what they can to keep flattening the curve. However, city officials are anticipating an increase in positive cases.

“As we continue expanding our testing capabilities, we are going to find more positives, but that’s not a bad thing,” he said. “If we can keep those positives from getting other people sick.”

Health officials said they will continue to monitor the number of coronavirus cases as businesses reopen.

“We will be watching those very carefully as the city starts reopening to determine if that opening creates a sudden recurrent increase in number of positive cases,” Dr. Rhyne said.

City of Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope said Lubbock is testing at two times the rate of the state.

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