AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -In a virtual meeting held by the Amarillo City Council this afternoon, council members voted on a new executive order which complies with Governor Abbott’s recent orders to open up the state.
The city council discussed extending the disaster declaration for Amarillo as well. The council voted to extend the current disaster declaration to April 30 to be consistent with Governor Abbott’s order.
Under the new executive order, essential services remain the same. Those businesses that are considered essential remain the same.
As of Friday, May 1, the following businesses and services can open with restrictions:
- Retail establishments
- Movie theaters
- Shopping malls
These services must limit their capacity to 25 percent of their listed occupancy. In shopping malls, the food court dining areas, play areas and interactive displays and settings must remain closed.
Museums and libraries can open if permitted by local government. Amarillo city leaders say libraries here will continue curbside service for the time being.
At this time, bars, gyms, pools, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, barber shops and salons remain closed.
This executive order does call for enforcement. If you are found in violation of this order, you could face a fine of up to $1,000, up to 180 days in jail or both.
The governor retains the authority to prohibit specific counties from opening. This would be due to concerning case numbers determined by the governor and health experts.
To put some perspective on the situation in Amarillo, public health experts spoke on some case numbers from the last week.
There were 275 positive COVID-19 tests on April 20. Those numbers increased to 587 positive tests on April 27, showing an increase of 312 cases in just one week.
As far as hospitalization, on April 20 there were 54 people under investigation at both hospitals and 28 positive cases. A week later, there were 24 people under investigation and 64 positive cases in the hospitals.
Northwest Texas Healthcare System has 41 ventilators available. At this time, more than 50 percent of the ventilators are in use. 75 percent of the ventilators in use are for COVID-19 patients.
BSA has 18 total ventilators occupied, and there are 14 other ventilators available.
The City of Amarillo is submitting a list to Governor Abbott for assistance with COVID-19.
That list includes nurses to help with our increase in cases and more testing availability.
You can view Phase One of Governor Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas here.
The order expires midnight on April 30. City Manager Jared Miller said the mayor will issue a new order to stay in sync with Abbott’s this week. The city council is expected to vote on that order to run through mid-May next Tuesday.