Re-opening Lubbock: Task force begins initial work - FOX34 Lubbock

Re-opening Lubbock: Task force begins initial work

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

It is a tall order to balance "lives and livelihoods" during an unprecedented pandemic.

But the Lubbock Economic Recovery Task Force, or "LERT" for short, believes the time to take action is now.

"We want to attack this in way we can bring out the quickest results and yet at the same time results that will lead us to safe re-entering the economy for Lubbock, and businesses being able to operate the way they're used to," United Supermarkets C.E.O and task force co-chair Robert Taylor said.

Mayor Dan Pope has continued to push for businesses to come back as "quick as it is safely possible."

He defended attending a protest over the weekend to re-open non-essential businesses.

"I'm a small business person myself. I want to get our small businesses open," Pope said. "When they invited me to be part of that event, the parade on Saturday, I said 'yes'. "

The group of 22 community leaders met for the first time Monday afternoon. 

The task force, represents schools, restaurants, auto shops, hotels, banks and hospitals.

Councilman Steve Massengale also co-chairs the task force.

"From the information I have, I have a sense that it will be gradual. I would think the first target will be non-essential retail from what we can do to get those types of businesses open and then following that we'll look at guidelines restaurants and personal care service businesses to open in a safe and responsible manner," Massengale explained.

In its first meeting, the task force formed 4 committees that include: Get Lubbock Open, Communications, Medical science, and Education.

They will be doing research throughout the week, relying on federal and state guidelines, among other resources.

"Our most important resource is the data from our local healthcare providers as we continue to monitor and fight the virus," Massengale said.

Initial recommendations and guidelines are due by the next city council meeting on April 28th.

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