Colleyville, Texas, is the first city in the state to allow the reopening of a few non-essential businesses, despite the executive order regarding social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Colleyville Mayor Richard Newton issued a statement that proclaims that churches, retail stores, gyms, salons, massage parlors, and restaurants reopen today.
As many other Texas cities have extended their own stay-at-home order, the city of Colleyville is reopening, with social distancing, a week earlier than what Texas Governor Greg Abbott was ordering for the rest of the state. Dallas County had recently extended its stay-at-home order until May 15, 2020, making Colleyville in Tarrant County reopen almost a month earlier.
According to the L.A. Times, “Governor Greg Abbott, an advocate of small government, refused to intervene,” allowing the city to make its own rules. And Mayor Newton continued to explain the reasons why Colleyville will be opening up saying, “Most of the businesses in Colleyville are small, locally owned. It’s the smaller guys that are really getting killed. As long as the data supports it, we want to give them the opportunity,” highlighting how important small businesses are in a city of only 27,000 people.
Mayor Newton is reopening the city with a few rules: Colleyville businesses can only serve customers by appointment, one person per 200 square feet excluding employees, gyms can host private classes of up to 10 people at a time, and restaurants can offer dine-in service if they have a patio or make one, with proper distancing between tables. Most of the residents support the reopening, despite most of them being 65-years-old and older.
He continues to justify the city’s reopening by comparing the CDC’s models, explaining that Tarrant County has already hit its maximized amount of infections with only half of the beds occupied at local hospitals. However, surrounding cities are feeling more alarmed that the mayor of Colleyville is opening up small businesses so fast.
How do you feel about the timing of this Texas city reopening?