Texas Governor Greg Abbott stepped up the state's efforts in attempting to quell the surge of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state by issuing an Executive Order on Friday morning that targets bars and restaurants.
Effective at noon on Friday, June 26, all bars that receive more than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close.
These establishments may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Beginning on Monday, June 29, restaurant seating will be reduced to 50 percent of posted capacity.
All rafting and tubing businesses have been ordered to shut down.
Also, outdoor events of more than 100 people must have the approval of local officials; subject to some exceptions.
These measures came less than 24 hours after Texas reported 5,996 new cases on Thursday.
The state's coronavirus testing rate topped 10 percent (positivity) on Thursday.
“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,” Abbott said.
“The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance 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.” Abbott said in a news release.