As cases of COVID-19 and hospitilizations continue to rise through Texas, Governor Greg Abbott released an executive order on Friday that will limit certain businesses' and services' operations in order to try and contain the spread of COVID-19. The protocol listed in the order are due to the correlation between these businesses and the spike in positive cases throughout Texas, according to the release.
The order states the following, according to the release:
- Bars and similar businesses which gain more than 51 percent of their revenue from the sale of alcohol must close at noon today, but may continue delivery and take-out services, including alcoholic beverages, per the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- Starting on June 29, restaurants can still allow dine-in seating, but not over 50 percent of the total indoor occupancy.
- Rafting and tubing services will close.
- Local governments must approve outdoor gatherings of 100 people; certain exceptions may apply.
“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,” Governor Abbott said, according to the release. “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 enhance public health. We want this to be as limited in duration as possible. 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.”