The next step of reopening the Texas economy during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic will go into effect Monday.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is expected to make an announcement Monday that may address when bars and childcare facilities can reopen, but certain businesses are already slated to get up and running that day:
- Gyms and other exercise facilities can open, so long as they do not exceed 25% of the listed capacity for the facility, the showers and locker areas are kept closed, equipment is disinfected after each use, people use gloves that cover the entire hand and fingers while they work out, and social distancing practices are maintained.
- Office spaces will be permitted to reopen and allow up to five individuals or 25% of the total listed occupancy, whichever is greater, so long as proper social distancing practices are maintained.
- Non-essential manufacturing businesses will be able to reopen, so long as the number of people in the building does not exceed 25% of the total listed occupancy limit, and proper social distancing practices are followed.
Rumer Richardson at Beyond Fitness and Pilates spent Saturday adding fresh paint to her studios that had been closed for two months while she prepared to open with a laundry list of new procedures.
“We wouldn’t open our doors if we didn’t feel comfortable, and we are at the point in Dallas right now that I feel we can comfortably open our doors," Richardson said. "If we’re all smart about it, we should be good.”
To do so, she'll cut class sizes at both of her studios in half, and stay well below the state's mandate to keep building capacity under 25%.
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She will also increase times between classes for sanitization and rotating which equipment is used in each class.
Instructors will be checked for temperatures as they start each shift.
It's not all that different from what The Vested Group in Plano has done for the last couple of weeks.
Though the software technology firm is deemed essential, founder Joel Patterson said they opted to shift to a complete work from home mode for the first six weeks of the shutdown.
As he's brought employees back, he's done so with the guidance of a leadership committee.
For now, employees rotate days and their temperatures are checked at the door.
A COVID monitor makes sure they never exceed capacity.
Smaller conference rooms are marked "off limits" for meetings, while an outdoor space is more heavily utilized.
Though there's no one-size-fits-all-model in this new unknown, Patterson said they're implementing the changes he's sure many others will put into place with openings this week.
“We don’t really know. We just have to do the best that we can, keep our people safe. These decisions are really culture decisions for us," he said. "We want to make sure our people feel comfortable coming in. We want them to always know that this is a safe place for them not just from a work perspective, but a health perspective."
On Thursday, The Dallas Morning News reported that disease experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center released new forecasts that predicted Dallas County could see 800 new COVID-19 cases every day by early July if people continue to interact as much, or more than, they are now.
By comparison, on Thursday, there were 235 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by Dallas County Health and Human Services.