After the formation of the Lubbock Economy Recovery Task force last week, Robert Taylor and Steve Massengale, co-chairs of the task force, gave an update regarding the first meeting.

Consisting of 20 plus members, LERT will work with the Lubbock City Council to help determine when it would be best for Lubbock's economy to reopen and for nonessential businesses to resume to face-to-face interactions.

Taylor, CEO of United Supermarkets, said the committee now consists of 22 members, and that most of the discussions today resolved around determining what data was available and the status of local health care providers.

"We spent quite a bit of time in the beginning of the meeting to sort the data," Taylor said. "So we understand what we're facing as far as health, health care risk and current situation here in Lubbock. As far as health care we heard from the hospitals as far as what their capacity is and we feel good about a lot of data that we heard there."

Taylor continued by saying that the committee's primary goal is to reopen businesses in the safest way possible while also taking the first steps to restoring Lubbock's economy.

"We want to attack this in a way that we can bring out the quickest results, and yet at the same time, results that will will lead us to a safe reentering economy for global and businesses being able to operate the way they're used to," Taylor said. "So we don't want to rush anything but at the same time we will be as aggressive as we can."

Massengale, a local business owner and member of the Lubbock City Council, said LERT will be further divided into separate committees to continue discussions and prepare resources for the City Council's next meeting on April 28.

"Our groups, our committees are going to work hard this week to report back to our task force on Friday," Massengale said. "We would like the initial guidelines prepared and ready to submit to the city council on our April 28 regularly scheduled meeting."

Once businesses reopen, both Taylor and Massengale said they expect there to be ample precautions taken, such as temperature scans for employees, increased sanitation, and social distancing to prevent further spread of the virus.

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