GALVESTON, Texas — The city of Galveston was once a bustling beach town, but it has gone quiet during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are empty beaches, local attractions are closed and restaurants have closed their doors to abide by the new normal.
Soon, everything could change.
“We are looking to the governor and the state level and the timelines and the businesses affected. What we are doing is getting all 13 cities and the mayors together,” Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said.
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Henry said the goal is to come up with a plan and reopen all cities in the county at the same time.
“Coordination between all 13 cities is important. We wouldn’t want to have restaurants open in one place and not in another place because then people would flock there and overwhelm that system when we really would like to have it all done at the same time,” Henry said.
City officials have come up with a plan that will be presented to city council on Thursday.
In the plan, they have a directive for restaurants to open but dining parties have to be placed 6 feet apart. All workers will have to wear masks.
Bars and clubs would also be open but must practice social distancing and no dancing will be allowed.
Hotels will also be allowed to reopen their pools.
Retail establishments will open for curbside delivery options.
City beaches will be open for exercise only in the morning and afternoon.
Major attractions will remain closed until further evaluation.
It's all still a proposal.
“We don’t want to jump the gun. We want to make sure we do this in the proper and sequence manner as directed by the governor’s office,” Henry said.
A timeline to reopen has not yet been set. That will be discussed during the Galveston city council meeting on Thursday.
The city said this is all based on the advice and data provided by local health authorities and UTMB.
The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.
Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.
But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.
The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.
Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...
- The air by coughing or sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
Help stop the spread of coronavirus
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Eat and sleep separately from your family members
- Use different utensils and dishes
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
- If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Follow social distancing
Lower your risk
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.
Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.
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