COVID-19 May Not Be Our Usual Security Topic, But Your Houston Locksmith Will Keep You Informed.
While the normal scope of this blog is through the lens of a locksmith in Houston, including access control installation, servicing and selling safes in Houston, security camera installation, and automotive locksmith services; we’ve also begun covering “off-topic” blog articles related to our local service area. You may be aware that we’ve also extended this coverage to the ongoing novel Coronavirus pandemic. This is because these topics affect us as a community and our work as locksmiths.
Right now, Texas is at a turning point. Things can either get much better or much, much worse. Governor Greg Abbott has extended the emergency declaration for Texas by 30 days, while at the same time promising to reopen the Texas economy and workforce “soon”. This may seem hypocritical, but the idea does make sense as we discuss below.
The State Numbers, Laid Bare
At the time of writing this blog entry, Texas has suffered an estimated 13,491 cases of Texas COVID-19. This includes 296 deaths and 2,084 recoveries while the rest of the number is still actively infected. Harris County, including both Houston and unincorporated spaces, makes up nearly a quarter of these cases, at nearly 4,000 infections. Houston alone accounts for more than half of these.
Our state has been lucky to not be hit as catastrophically as other states in the union with the results of this epidemic. While experts agree that Texas’ peak is nearly 2 weeks away based on the numbers, we’re not likely at all, thankfully, to become the next Washington or New York.
Reopening The State
While the emergency declaration has been expanded to mid-May, Governor Abbott as stated earlier wishes to reopen the state’s economy. This may seem a bit extreme as experts agree that we’re far from done with the danger of Coronavirus in Houston, Texas, and the United States at first glance; but in theory, it does need to happen eventually to keep our economic systems from collapsing.
While on April 13th Governor Abbott did not provide specific details about the reopening of the State; he did layout a base plan. While many wish for things to return to “normal” as soon as possible, the governor has to balance health and safety with the desire to ease the stay at home orders and restart the economy.
This essentially means that returning to normalcy won’t be an overnight move. Businesses will have to open slowly, with restrictions like following social distancing procedures, in order to not cause another spike in infections.
Other Resources For The Lone Star State
Governor Abbott also announced on the 13th that Goldman Sachs will be donating $50,000,000 in loans for small businesses in Texas as part of a wider $550,000,000 commitment nationally.
In Texas, the loans will be available through the LiftFund’s Paycheck Protection Program. If certain criteria are met, loans could be forgiven. This essentially means that small business owners would not have to pay them back should they follow guidelines. Loans can be used for payroll, health care, mortgage interest payments, rent, utilities and more.
On the side of workers, while there have been more than 920,000 claims through the Texas workforce commission, there is still funding available. With internal policy changes and federal additions to unemployment law, more people are able to get the help that they need after being furloughed due to the Texas COVID-19 epidemic.
It has been noted that those denied for not spending enough time at their previous job may now be available to receive benefits as of April 5th. These people are encouraged by the state to reapply.
Continuing Our Coverage On COVID-19
As the security experts and locksmiths Houston trusts, we endeavor to give you peace of mind in regards to both the physical security of your property and families as well as knowledge to help keep us all safe during this trying time.
As we have been for some time now, Guardian Safe & Lock continues to enforce strict cleaning, social distancing, and other procedures designed to minimize contact with our employees and the general public. This ensures no one becomes infected, locksmith technician or customer.
Our store is still open 6 days a week with our normal hours of 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, and 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Saturday. We also still run 24-hour emergency locksmith service with our fleet of mobile technicians and will continue to do so as long as it remains safe for all parties involved.
We also will continue providing detailed information regarding the novel Coronavirus and its impact on our community. Keep an eye out for the next parts of this series detailing how the Coronavirus has been impacting our local service areas specifically.