LUBBOCK, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott scheduled an appearance live via satellite with KLBK News for Thursday during the noon newscast.
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On Thursday morning, Abbott announced that Texas will pause any further phases to open business. Starting in mid-March state and local leaders restricted all “non-essential” businesses as a way of slowing the spread of COVID-19 or coronavirus.
Abbott in late April released a booklet with instructions on how the state could re-open in phases.
Thursday, Abbott also announced the suspension of elective surgeries at hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties. The idea is to free up hospital capacity.
Lubbock has recently seen an explosion in cases going from less than 1,000 total cases to more than 1,600 over the course of nine days. The average number of new cases for those same nine days is more than 85 per day.
Texas Tech announced mandatory use of face masks on campus in the fall. Mayor Dan Pope on Wednesday urged residents to wear masks but said the governor has stripped local cities of the authority to actually enforce a mask mandate.
As of Thursday morning, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported 2,249 COVID-19 deaths in Texas. An estimated 72,898 Texans had recovered from COVID-19. There were an estimated 50,774 active cases in Texas.