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Abbott closes bars, shuts down tubing, reduces restaurant capacity as COVID-19 cases surge

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order that re-closed tubing businesses and bars Friday and reduces permitted restaurant capacity from 75% to 50% on Monday in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


The state of Texas reported a record number of cases several times last week.

The order includes the following measures:

  • Bars that receive more than 50% of revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages must close as of noon Friday, but may remain open for delivery and takeout.
  • Restaurants must reduce dine-in capacity to 50% as of Monday.
  • Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
  • Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with exceptions.

A news release states: "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."

His actions Friday morning are the most severe step the governor taken this week to control COVID-19 cases, but he had already suspended elective surgeries in four large counties on Thursday, including Travis, and said he would pause the reopening process for the state.

A University of Texas epidemiologist told Austonia that much more drastic measures would need to be taken to get the surge under control.

This story has been updated with new information.

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