Texas to close bars, limit restaurants again in fight against COVID-19 spike

Talk 1370 Newsroom
June 26, 2020 - 9:03 am

    AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday issued an executive order limiting some businesses in an effort to help contain the latest outbreak in COVID-19 cases.

    Under the new order:

    • Bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at noon Friday. They may remain open for delivery and take-out, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
    • Restaurants are again limited to 50% of their indoor capacity for dine-in service, beginning Monday
    • Rafting and tubing businesses must close
    • Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions

    "As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Abbott said in a statement. "At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars. The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health."

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    "We want this to be as limited in duration as possible," Abbott said in a statement. "However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part. Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can. I know that our collective action can lead to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19 because we have done it before, and we will do it again."

    Friday's order comes after the state has continued to see a surge in both new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. On Thursday, the state reported nearly 6,000 new cases of COVID-19 and another 350 new hospitalizations, with the total number of hospitalizations nearing the 5,000 mark.

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