As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Texas is moving to further open its economy allowing childcare centers, massage centers, tattoo and body piercing studios and more to resume operations effective Monday, according to Governor Greg Abbott.

And on Friday, bars, wine tasting centers, craft beer establishments, bowling alleys, skating centers, zoos, aquariums, rodeos, and more will be able to open as part of Texas’ Phase II opening of its economy, Abbott said.

“I want you to know this, today, tomorrow and every day going forward is one day closer to medical discoveries that will help treat and protect people from getting COVID-19, until that day comes, our focus is to keep you safe while also restoring your ability to get back to work, to open your businesses, to pay your bills, to put food on your tables,” Abbott said during an afternoon press conference that was broadcast online by KXAN. “But let’s be clear, COVID-19 it still exists in Texas, our goal is to find ways to coexist with COVID-19 as safely as possible.”

That includes continuing these safe practices that people have already adopted like maintaining safe distances, wearing a mask, and sanitizing hands, Abbott said.

“It is a fact that these safe practices save lives,” Abbott said.

Already, effective Monday, business offices can reopen with up to ten employees or 25 percent of its workforce as long as they maintain safe distancing and other practices designed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Manufacturing operations are also allowed to resume with 25 percent occupancy and other guidelines.

And beginning May 31st, Texas will allow summer day and overnight camps to reopen along with professional sports such as basketball, baseball, car racing, football, golf, softball, and tennis leagues without spectators.

Most of the major COVID-19 outbreaks in Texas have occurred at nursing homes, jails, and meatpacking plants, Abbott said. And that is what accounts for the spike in COVID-19 cases in the Amarillo area, he said.

There are now 2,129 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Potter County with Amarillo as its largest city. That ranks the county fifth in Texas behind Travis County with 2,425 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and ahead of Bexar County with 2,120 cases.

Overall, Texas has 47,784 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the state estimates 27,570 people have recovered from the disease. There have been 1,336 deaths from COVID-19 reported as of Monday.

People over the age of 65 make up most of the deaths in Texas and moving forward, it is recommended that seniors stay at home as much as possible, Abbott said.

As the state has opened up for Texas, the state has ample supplies of protective personal equipment and its testing has also increased, Abbott said.

Based on input from data and doctors, Gov. Abbott said it is now time to take the next steps to resume economic activity in Texas.

Texas is allowing restaurants to increase capacity to 50 percent total occupancy starting on Friday. They had previously operated at 25 percent capacity. Restaurants are required to maintain at least six feet of distance from other parties at all times including while waiting to be seated in the restaurant. They also cannot have tables of more than six people and they must have hand sanitizing stations available upon entry to the restaurant.

Since May 8th, barbershops, hair salons, nail shops, tanning salons, and other businesses have been allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity. Gyms and exercise facilities were allowed to reopen Monday with a reduced capacity of 25 percent with lockers and shower rooms closed, but restrooms are allowed to remain open.

And summer school can resume as soon as June 1st as long as they follow safe distancing guidelines, Abbott said.

“As we open up, we must continue to place health and safety at the forefront,” Abbott said.

Texas is putting a temporary pause on certain counties that are not allowed to begin Phase II until May 29th and that includes El Paso, Potter, Randall, Moore, and Deaf Smith counties, he said.

“Texans have always faced adversity and they have always prevailed,” Abbott said.

Texas’ fatality rate is one of the lowest in America, he said.

“We are getting through this, but now more than ever we need to work together,” Abbott said.

For a full list of the businesses allowed to open and the restrictions placed upon them visit the Open Texas website here.