Digital Exclusive: Preliminary plans to reopen the Permian Basin


PERMIAN BASIN (YourBasin) – With Governor Greg Abbott set to provide guidelines to reopen the Texas economy that means your favorite restaurant and shopping store could be open soon. But, not everyone would be able to gather all at once.

The Permian Basin remains to be one of the healthiest regions in Texas while local and state officials work to open the economy back. With numerous cases though, just how will opening the local economy back up affect us.

“I think there’s certainly an amount of risk that goes along with reopening things and we are going to have to recognize there’s some risk. That will make it that much more important that we keep enforcing those social distancing rules, hand hygiene and emphasizing to people that if you feel sick, even if your business has reopened you don’t need to be there,” says CEO/President of Midland Health Russell Meyers.

In today’s Unified Command Team conference, preliminary plans to start reopening the local economy have begun while they also wait for state officials to provide guidelines.

Mayor Turner in a Facebook Live stating the only way for Odessa to reopen is if the local trend line starts to fall and citizens continue to practice social distancing.

“At some point of time we will have to reopen the economy. Obviously we can’t continue to function as a society with the restrictions that are in place right now, the needed restrictions in place right now,” says Representative Mike Conaway, “we turned the economy off like a light switch. We will not be able to turn it back on that quickly.”

A light switch people want turned on as quickly as possible.

Though as the Basin has yet to hit its peak and a greater risk will be taken, Meyers says easing things can help combat COVID-19 while the local economy starts to stand on its own.

“As restrictions are eased just a little bit, what are the things you still have to remember how do we keep that track record of relatively minimal infection,” says Meyer

Areas such as Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth have been hit harder than the Basin. Conaway states that reopening the Basin will be easier than those areas.

“What we do in Midland-Odessa will be done different than, let’s say Houston as an example with the denser populations, but I would anticipate that as we reopen it will be a combination of these guidelines, social distancing. At the same time we expand the number of businesses that are under the non-essential category right now,” says Conaway.

State officials currently have their hands on the light switch as they await to hear the guidelines provided by Governor Abbott so they can pass down to local leaders.

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