Governor orders shutdown of bars at noon Friday, reduces restaurant capacities starting Monday, June 29
By LYNETTE SOWELL
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Friday, June 26, closing down bars as of noon today, and restricting dine-in restaurants to no more than 50% capacity, starting Monday, June 29.
All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close, but may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Also, rafting and tubing businesses must close.
The governor’s order also states that outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
“This decision comes as the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 and the number of hospitalizations have increased and the positivity rate in Texas increased above 10 percent, which the Governor previously stated would lead to further preventative action,” the press release stated. “The targeted, measured directives in the executive order are based on links between certain types of businesses and services and the recent rise in positive cases throughout the state.”
From Monday through Wednesday this week alone, the number of positive cases in the state rose by 14,320.
Texas had a total of 131,917 confirmed positive cases as of Thursday afternoon, with an estimated 74,496 having recovered, leaving an estimated 55,125 active cases. There have been 2,296 fatalities.
In the state of Texas, there are 4,739 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. This has been a steady upward trend since June 1, when there were 1,756 hospitalized.
“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.”