Tuesday May 26 Governor Abbott announced that the state is allowing more businesses to reopen. Food courts in shopping malls can reopen immediately and gave permission for water parks to begin operations with limited capacity starting Friday. Theme and amusement parks were not included.

Recreational sports programs for adults can restart Sunday, though games and similar competitions may not start up until June 15. Abbott also permitted driver education programs to resume operations immediately. The Governors proclamation came a day after the total number of coronavirus cases in Texas increased to 55,971, including 1,527 deaths, according to the latest data from the Department of State Health Services. Out of Texas’ 254 counties, 228 are reporting cases.

For food court dining areas that choose to reopen, Abbott is encouraging malls to designate one or more people who are responsible for enforcing social distancing and ensuring tables are cleaned and disinfected between uses. Westgate Mall today did not have a comment on whether they would open the dining areas in the mall and the person who answered the call was not informed if they had planned to anytime soon.

The Governors announcement comes nearly a week after he unveiled the second phase of opening designed to kick start the state’s economy during the coronavirus pandemic. Except for Amarillo last week, child care facilities, as well as bars could open at twenty-five percent capacity.  Late Tuesday it was announced that Governor Abbott will visit Amarillo May 27. The Governor will meet with Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd, Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson and Amarillo Public Health Director Casie Stoughton.

The governor will hold a news conference at 2:00 p.m. at Amarillo City Hall.