Mayor Pete Saenz has issued the following statement regarding Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement yesterday to reopen the State of Texas in phases:
“The City of Laredo will comply, to the extent required, with Governor Greg Abbott’s order announced yesterday as part of the effort to gradually reopen Texas. We are also working with our public health and infectious disease experts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in our community. The restrictions on public gatherings are made to safeguard public health while we work on treating infected persons and further stopping the spread of the disease.
“I understand the concern about damage being done to our economy. But the health and safety of ALL citizens must be valued above all else. We must be mindful of Laredo’s uniqueness in being a border city with Mexico and we must also be cognizant of the ongoing battle that we and our neighbor to the south have been fighting against COVID-19. We all want this crisis to be over quickly, but we must act cautiously by following the science and the advice of our public health experts. Reopening too quickly risks a second wave of infections and jeopardizes the advances we have made to contain the virus.
“Our community is as strong as the level of how well we follow common sense prevention practices; and, more importantly, the level of our current medical care capacity. As you may know, recently our health care capacity has been compromised by the onslaught of positive cases within our hospitals and medical providers.
“God forbid we have a spike in cases after we open up certain sectors of the economy on Friday. In the event our local health matters should worsen as a result of spikes in COVID-19 infections, I expect the Governor and the State to provide all necessary resources to help local governments deal with this pandemic. We have made several requests for assistance to the state and have yet to receive it. Our city, just like every other in the state, is in dire need of more testing kits and supplies.
“While the Governor’s order does supersede all local orders, we continue to recommend the use of face coverings and to stay home, if possible, unless you must leave for an essential trip. It is important to maintain good nutrition, hygiene, and mental and physical health. Take a walk or run on our trails, but do not congregate in groups. The risk is still as real as ever and we cannot let our guard down at this time.
Stay healthy and stay safe, Laredo.”