DALLAS - More people will soon be able to eat inside restaurants and shop in Texas stores.
On Monday, Governor Greg Abbott will announce Phase 2 of his plan to reopen the Texas economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
As more people are allowed in stores and restaurants, some health officials said North Texans shouldn’t let their guard down and should still take precautions.
At the beginning of this month, Gov. Abbott allowed stores and restaurants to reopen, operating with 25 percent of customers.
On Monday, the governor is set to announce Phase 2 if his plan at 2 p.m., possibly allowing some businesses to operate at 50 percent capacity.
There may also be some new guidance for places like bars and tattoo shops, which remain closed.
“Everybody individually has to make their own risk assessments to determine whether or not they feel that it’s safe to go back and do the things they use to do,” said Dr. John Carlo, with Texas Medical Association.
There is no longer a stay-at-home order in Dallas County, as it was allowed to expire Friday night.
Health leaders have said new COVID-19 cases appear to have peaked last week.
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Hospitals will monitor if the reopening of businesses lead to an increase in ER and ICU beds being used.
Stephen Love, with the DFW Hospital Council, said ER visits and ICU beds have remained steady with about 65 percent in use.
“I do think, in the next ten days to two weeks, based on the incubation period that the infectious disease doctors say, we are going to see, are we getting a slight uptick, are we remaining flat, or is it going down. I think the next two weeks are going to be a big indicator,” Love said.
Data from UT Southwestern shows that if people do not continue to use physical distancing, we could see a new spike in cases this summer in Dallas County.
For those deciding to leave the house, Dr. Carlo said people should wear some sort of face covering, adding that it will become the new normal.
“Take those personal protection measures and really make sure that you are doing what you do safely,” he said. “That includes washing your hands, being aware of your surroundings, and finally, wearing a mask when in those setting to limit the potential spread of transmission.”