On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that most of Texas will be able to loosen some coronavirus restrictions, including letting many businesses increase their capacity to 75%, as soon as Monday, yet at the same time stating he was not yet ready to reopen bars, saying they are “nationally recognized as COVID-spreading locations.”
Abbott’s standard which he unveiled applies to the 19 out of 22 hospital regions in the state where coronavirus patients make up less than 15% of all hospitalizations.
In 19 regions, businesses that have been open at 50% capacity will be permitted to expand to 75% capacity — a group of places that includes retail stores, restaurants, gyms and office buildings. Hospitals in those regions will also be allowed to offer normal elective procedures again, and nursing homes can reopen for visitations under certain standards.
The three hospital regions excluded from the new reopening stage are in the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and Victoria. Abbott said those regions’ hospitalizations are still “in the danger zone.”
“There are some Texans who want to fully open Texas 100 percent as though COVID is no longer a threat. The fact is COVID does still exist and most Texans remain susceptible,” Abbott said.