Travis County coronavirus cases reach 1,464 as Gov. Greg Abbott outlines plan for reopening more businesses in May

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said Gov. Greg Abbott's plan did not include means to reduce coronavirus cases in Texas. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said Gov. Greg Abbott's plan did not include means to reduce coronavirus cases in Texas. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said Gov. Greg Abbott's plan did not include means to reduce coronavirus cases in Texas. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

On the day Gov. Greg Abbott announced many businesses across Texas will be allowed to reopen in a limited capacity starting May 1, Travis County saw 52 new coronavirus cases and three new deaths related to the ongoing pandemic.

There have been a total of 1,464 coronavirus cases in the county and 42 total deaths, as of the latest update provided by Travis County and Austin Public Health officials April 27. Also, 399 individuals have recovered from the virus since the beginning of the outbreak.

According to Abbott’s April 27 announcement, retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls across the state can reopen May 1 but must limit building or space occupancy to 25% or less. Museums and libraries will also be permitted to open under the same capacity requirement. A full list of changes announced can be found here.

In a statement responding to Abbott’s announcement, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said the governor’s plan, while setting an expectation of calendared reopening, did not include a plan to reduce coronavirus cases in the state.

“I agree that business should reopen, but only in a measured manner guided by science,” she said in the statement. “As county judges, we are the agents of the state tasked with executing local plans that balance the interdependent health impacts and economic impacts of COVID-19. Travis County has more knowledge of infection and how it spreads in our community than most other communities in the State. We are better prepared to set standards of care in a phased and measured opening of businesses locally. Abbott has only set an expectation of calendared reopening. I look forward to working with him to set clear expectations for a measurable advance in health and economic recovery from COVID-19, whether or not it meets his calendar.”
By Nicholas Cicale
Nick has been with Community Impact Newspaper since 2016, working with the Lake Travis-Westlake and Southwest Austin-Dripping Springs editions. He previously worked as a reporter in Minnesota and earned a degree from Florida State University.


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