BEXAR COUNTY, Tex. (Texas News Radio) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a new executive order Friday closing bars, reducing the capacity of restaurants, closing rafting and tubing outfitters, and tweaking local government’s role in outdoor gathering size.
The move was made because the infection rate — the number of positive cases per number of total tests — has risen above 10 percent and has been a barometer the governor has used in his decision-making through out the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” said Governor 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. 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 — those that receive more than 51 percent of their gross receipts by selling alcoholic beverages — must close at noon Friday. They may continue to sell delivery or takeout — which includes the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but capacity is again limited to 50 percent beginning Monday.
Rafting and tubing businesses are ordered to close.
Local governments must now approve any gathering of more than 100 people. Previously, local governments were given permission to impose those restrictions, now those restrictions are assumed statewide unless exempted by a local government.
READ THE FULL ORDER
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