Citing a rising positive rate for those being tested for COVID-19, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a new executive order effective Friday morning that revives some of his lockdown policies from a few months ago.
Under the new executive order:
- Bars and other businesses that receive more than 51 percent of revenue from the sale of alcohol are required to close at noon today, Friday, June 26. The businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out;
- Beginning on Monday, June 29, restaurants must limit capacity to 50 percent of the total indoor occupancy. Those businesses are currently restricted to a 75 percent capacity;
- Rafting and tubing businesses must close;
- And all outdoor gatherings with more than 100 attendees require the approval of local governments, with some exceptions, such as religious services.
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10 percent, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Abbott. “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.”
Abbott concluded his press release with his usual call on the public to wear a mask, wash their hands, maintain social distancing, and stay home.
Case numbers and hospitalizations have risen in the past few weeks, but hospital authorities in both the DFW region and the Houston area — where over 50 percent of the coronavirus hospitalizations are located — have stated that the situation is under control and that health systems are not in imminent danger.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.