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Local officials respond to Governor Abbott’s new order

City officials hope to keep businesses moving forward after suffering from the pandemic, but they say we must work on improving our numbers first.
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 10:06 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The majority of Texas is ready for the next phase of reopening after Governor Abbott announced regions with a hospitalization rate of less than 15% could expand their business capacity.

Laredo has a 26% COVID-19 hospitalization rate, a number that officials say has decreased since last week.

The city was one of the three regions in Texas that did not make the cut and our business capacity will not be expanding.

City officials agree this is something we must continue to work on.

Starting Monday, businesses around Texas like retail stores, restaurants, gyms, and office buildings will be expanding from 50 to 75% capacity.

This will apply to 19 of the hospital regions, but Laredo is not one of them.

This decision does not apply to bars, which will remain closed unless they sell food.

City officials hope to keep businesses moving forward after suffering from the pandemic, but they say we must work on improving our numbers first.

“We’re making progress so congratulations, Laredo,” said Mayor Peter Saenz. “And we need to continue bringing that number down and it’s you, its all of us that will and can bring this number down.”

On behalf of Webb County, the county’s Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Landin says we are on our way to better times.

“Health is our priority and we feel that in due time, it will be able to be relaxed more,” said Landin.

Laredo has the highest percentage of hospitalizations in Texas and right now, this number is stopping the city from loosening up more of its restrictions like reopening nursing homes and having elective surgeries again.

The other regions that didn’t make the cut either were Rio Grande Valley and Victoria.

City officials hope that by October, the business community can have the opportunity to do business again and feel relief.

As local businesses continue to be open at 50% capacity, preventative measures continue to be key.

Copyright 2020 KGNS. All rights reserved.

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