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Abbott announces Texas to enter Phase III of coronavirus reopening plan immediately

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 29: Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the US Army Corps of Engineers and the state are putting up a 250-bed field hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas during a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Sunday, March 29, 2020. The space can expand to nearly 1,400 beds. Joining him was former State Representative Dr. John Zerwas (left) and Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD. (Phopto by Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images)

BEXAR COUNTY, Tex. (Texas News Radio) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Wednesday the state is immediately moving into Phase III of its coronavirus reopening plan.

Under this plan, which goes into effect immediately, all Texas businesses can operate at up to 50 percent, with some exceptions.  Most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits and businesses that had been able to operate at 100% occupancy may continue to do so.

“The people of Texas continue to prove that we can safely and responsibly open our state for business while containing COVID-19 and keeping our state safe,” said Governor Abbott. “As anticipated, the new positive cases that we are seeing are largely the result of isolated hot spots in nursing homes, jails, and meat packing plants. Thanks to the effectiveness of our Surge Response Teams, we have the ability to contain those hot spots while opening up Texas for business. As we begin Phase III, I ask all Texans and Texas businesses to continue following the standard health protocols and to heed the guidance of our state and federal officials who continue to closely monitor COVID-19. If we remain vigilant, we will continue to mitigate the spread of this virus, protect public health, and get more Texans back to work and their daily activities.”

Bars and similar establishments may expand their capacity to 50 percent as long as customers are seated.  Amusement parks in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed cases of the virus may open at 50 percent capacity.  Restaurants may expand maximum table party size from 6 to 10 people.

On June 12, restaurants may expand occupancy to 75 percent.  On June 19, amusement parks with more than 1,000 confirmed cases may open at 50 percent capacity.

The state said that if you do go out, you are asked to wear appropriate face coverings, not be in groups larger than 10, people 65 and older are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, and you are asked to continue to avoid visiting nursing home and long-term care facilities.

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