BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Small business owners across the state are preparing to re-open as social distancing regulations begin to ease even further this week with some brick and mortar shops opening at limited capacity by the end of the week.
Governor Greg Abbott is set to allow the stay-at-home order to expire on April 30 which he says will create a path for more businesses to re-open as early as mid-May.
But experts warn a hasty re-opening of our economy could lead to a deadly and far stronger second wave of infections.
We sat down with Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Policy Scowcroft Institue Pandemic & Biosecurity Director, Gerald Parker who says while those fears are valid, they may be too careful.
Parker says a second wave of infections is to be expected when we re-open the economy, in the fall and even next spring. But he says that should not deter Texans from restarting the economy.
"We have an opportunity, the model we're embarking on here in Texas," Parker explains, "with a very measured and phased approach building the capacities in our public health system and healthcare systems. I do believe it's going to be the model for the nation and perhaps the world."
He believes Texas health officials should abide in four pre-requisites before drastic re-opening methods take place.
- hospital capacity to avoid "crisis standards of care."
- the ability to test "all people" with COVID-19 symptoms
- active monitoring of confirmed cases and their contacts
- a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days.
Parker concluded by mentioning no re-open plan will be perfect and second and third waves are to be expected.
But he's optimistic.
Watch the full interview in the player above.