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Governor Abbott Closes Bars, Rafting and Tubing Outlets in New COVID-19 Restrictions

DALLAS, TX - MAY 04: (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

UPDATE 6/26/20 1:04pm – On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order closing bars, reducing the capacity of restaurants, closing rafting and tubing outfitters, and tweaking local government’s role in outdoor gathering size.

Gov. Abbott remarked, “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…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. 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.”

The order signed Friday orders that all bars or similar establishments must close by 12n on Friday, but can continue to sell delivery or takeout — which includes the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service which will be limited to 50 percent capacity starting Monday and all rafting and tubing businesses are ordered to close.

All Local municipalities, including San Antonio must now approve any gathering of more than 100 people.

You can read the full order here.

UPDATE: Texas Governor Greg Abbott is temporarily pausing additional reopening phases because of the dramatic increase in coronavirus cases.

He said, “As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families.” Gov. Abbott went on to say, “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”

The governor is asking, not mandating, that all Texans do their part and wear a mask when going out in public to help to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Original Story Below

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference to talk about the dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases throughout Texas. The state has surpassed 5,000 new cases in a single day for the first time. He said “There remain a lot of people in the state of Texas who think that the spread of COVID-19 is not a challenge.” Abbott went on the mention, “The coronavirus is serious. It’s spreading.”

Abbott is not emphasizing, not mandating, the use of face coverings as people venture out of their homes. He has not taken any new actions as of yet, but hinted that new measures could be coming. Among those measures already in place, the TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) will be out in force in the coming days shutting down more restaurants and bars that are not adhering to social distancing measure recommended by the state. He also said that he gets and understands why wearing a mask feels like an infringement on freedom to some but adds that “wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open.” Hinting that if cases continue to rise at the current rate, he would look at new stay at home orders but, “closing down Texas will be the last option.”

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