After a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order to contain the spread of the virus.
According to the order, all bars or establishments that receive more than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcohol must have closed by noon on Friday, June 26, and all restaurants must reduce capacity to 50 percent by Monday, June 29.
This order comes after Governor Abbott said at a May 5 press conference that a positive test rate over 10 percent would be a “warning flag”. Texas exceeded this 10 percent positive test rate on June 24.
“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,” Abbott said in a press release. “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 enhance public health.”
In addition to the bar and restaurant restrictions, the order requires the closure of rafting and tubing businesses and public gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments. Governor Abbott said that he wants these restrictions to be as limited in duration as possible.
“However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part,” Abbott said in a press release. “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.”