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Texas Gov. Abbott immediately shutters bars, reduces restaurant capacity again as daily COVID-19 cases surge


This virus is not done with us yet

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Texas ordered bars to close once more Friday amid the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to tamp down the spread of the deadly virus.

The move comes as Texas, Florida, and many other states have seen an alarming spike in daily confirmed infections.

What are the details?

On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced the decision.

"At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," he said. "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."

Bars will be shuttered at noon local time Friday, but may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages.

Abbott also announced that restaurants would be reduced to just 50% occupancy, starting Monday. Prior to the directive, bars were able to operate at 50% capacity. Restaurants were able to operate at 75% capacity.

Additionally, rafting and tubing businesses are now required to close. Outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must now be approved by local governments.

Texas is one of the first states to revoke a portion of its reopening process.

At the time of this writing, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that Texas has seen 134,558 confirmed COVID-19 infections to date.

According to a Friday report from The Hill, the state has reported more than 1,000 daily cases on all but two days in June.

On Thursday, Texas saw another record number of new cases — 5,996 — as well as hospitalizations — 4,739. The hospitalization number set a record for the 14th straight day, the Tribune reported.

Also on Thursday, Abbott announced the state was putting a pause on the reopening plans. And he also ordered a ban on elective surgeries in four of the state's biggest counties: Bexar, Travis, Dallas and Harris.

Anything else?

Researchers also estimate that Florida has seen at least 114,018 confirmed cases.

On Friday, Florida shattered its single-day record of confirmed COVID-19 cases with 8,933 new cases. The previous record was set on Wednesday with 5,508 infections.

Halsey Beshears, the secretary of the agency that regulates Florida's bars, announced bar closures in the Sunshine State.

On Twitter, Beshears wrote, "Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide."

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