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Abbott permits local governments to restrict outdoor gatherings to 100 people or fewer

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 Tuesday gave local governments more authority to limit the size of outdoor social gatherings.

The governor is giving mayors and county judges the power to impose outdoor gatherings of over 100 people.  Previously, local officials could only limit gatherings of 500 or more people.

Additionally, the governor is directing the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to enact strict health and safety standards for COVID-19 at child care centers in the state.

“These are just some of the steps Texas will take to contain the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” said Governor Abbott. “Today’s proclamation and emergency rules will aid in that effort in two key ways: allowing restrictions on large gatherings where COVID-19 is easily spread and implementing a statewide standard of infection control for child care centers. However, as we face this challenge, there is no substitute for personal responsibility. I urge all Texans to do everything in their power to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus by wearing a face mask, washing their hands often, and staying six-feet apart from others.”

The state announced Tuesday nearly 5,500 new coronavirus cases statewide in the past day — the largest increase so far during the pandemic — bringing the total number of confirmed cases to over 120,000.

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