As leaves change and temperatures drop, we celebrate the coming of a new season. Though this time of year may seem out of the ordinary without bustling community events and familiar fall festivals, the autumn season brings a beautiful change of scenery that invites us to spend more time outdoors. Whether raking leaves in the front yard, taking an evening walk in the crisp autumn air, throwing the football with the kiddos after a long day, or checking the feeders in preparation for deer season, there’s simply no better time to enjoy being outside. As the great American novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne, once wrote: “I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as the autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

With that, here’s this week’s Capitol update. . .

Capitol Update

Governor Abbott recently announced that most of Texas will be able to loosen COVID-19 restrictions by allowing many businesses to increase their capacity to 75 percent. This new standard will apply to hospital regions where coronavirus patients make up less than 15 percent of all hospitalizations. While retail stores, restaurants, and office buildings have previously been limited to 50 percent capacity, this increase is certainly a step in the right direction.

Another positive development Governor Abbott recently announced is that Texas will expand visitations to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Residents of long-term care facilities may now designate two essential family caregivers who will be allowed into a resident’s room, and visitors not named as essential caregivers will still be allowed to enter facilities under certain limitations. This is a significant improvement for our loved ones living in long-term care facilities who have been isolated for a prolonged period without the ability to interact with family members.

The U.S. Labor Department recently announced that Texas’ unemployment rate for August dropped to 6.8 percent, which is the lowest level since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps even more notable, the month of August marks the fourth month in a row that joblessness decreased in our state, signaling a positive trend towards economic recovery. Given the progress we’ve made at slowing the spread, I’m confident that our state will continue to surge towards the level of economic growth and prosperity that makes Texas the greatest state in the nation to do business.

As we transition into a new season, I want to encourage you and your family to get a flu shot as soon as possible. Getting a flu shot is especially important this season to help keep hospitalizations

down during the state’s ongoing battle with COVID-19. Please take time to prioritize the health and safety of all Texans this flu season by getting your flu shot today!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our District office may be reached at (936) 634-2762.