Texas Governor Greg Abbott was in Amarillo on Wednesday to asses how the city was handling the coronavirus and Covid-19 after being declared a hot spot. After meeting with local, state, and national officials, he said that the Amarillo region can move forward with the Texas Phase II reopening. While Amarillo had been a week behind the rest of Texas, Abbott's announcement means Amarillo will now be on track with the rest of the state.

Amarillo's move into Phase II means that our restaurants can increase dine-in capacity to 50% and bars can open at 25% occupancy. This does not apply to outdoor dinning or drinking as long as social distancing is being practiced. All sporting and camp activities are required to adhere by special safety standards, and minimum standard health protocols have been established for all newly-announced opened services and activities. Businesses located in office buildings may also open but must limit their occupancy to the greater of 10 employees or 25% of their workforce. The following businesses and services may also open as well with safety measures in place:

  • Child Care Centers
  • Massage and Personal-Care Centers
  • Youth Clubs
  • Rodeo and Equestrian Events
  • Bowling Alleys, Bingo Halls, Simulcast Racing, and Skating Rinks
  • Zoos (May 29)
  • Day Youth Camps (May 31)
  • Overnight Youth Camps (May 31)
  • Youth Sports (May 31)
  • Certain professional sports without in-person spectators (May 31)

Governor Abbott said in his press conference that Amarillo was a unique situation having 3 types of hot spots to deal with - nursing homes, meat packing plants, and jails or prisons. Due to that fact, the state had sent in a surge response team to increase the amount of testing and create action plans. Right now, there are still 130 members of the team still working in Amarillo.

Along with joining the rest of the state in Phase II, Abbott also shared a chart which shows that Amarillo is trending downward in new cases. He did say that testing has been completed at the JBS meat packing plant, and that by the end of the week, we may see a spike in positive cases. However, that was to be expected and overall the area is trending downward. After the spike, the trend should return to a downward pattern.