Gov. Greg Abbott orders Texas bars to close and restaurants to reduce to 50% occupancy
By Allison Flores
The Cuero Record
Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Friday, June 26 to limit certain businesses and services in response to the spike in COVID-19 cases around the state.
According to the press release, “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%, which the Governor previously stated would lead to further preventative action.”
The executive order includes the following:
All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at noon on Friday, June 26. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29.
Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exemptions.
Gov. Abbott stated the following in the 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 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 Texas 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.”
Cases of COVID-19 have risen in DeWitt County, increasing from 31 confirmed cases in total on June 12 to 50 cases on Friday, June 26 with 22 active cases.
Texas has seen a steady increase in COVID-19 cases within the month of June, seeing a record number of new cases on Thursday, with 5,996 confirmed and 4,739 hospitalizations.
Currently, twenty-two individuals in DeWitt County are isolating at home. Three are considered in-patients of medical facilities in Victoria, and twenty-four have recovered.
Individuals may be exposed to COVID-19 and be infectious even when no symptoms are present.
If you believe you have been exposed, monitor yourself closely for symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath for 14 days after the exposure. If you experience any of these symptoms and do not need urgent medical attention, isolate at home, and contact your healthcare provider.
If an individual knows they have been exposed, they should not go to work. If fever and cough are present, they should isolate themselves from others at home and monitor symptoms. Minimizing exposure is especially important for people who are 65 or older or who have an underlying health condition like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or cancer. People in those groups have a higher risk of developing severe complications if they do get COVID-19, and the safest thing for them during an outbreak will be to stay home as much as possible and minimize close contact with other people. To get ready, they should talk to their doctor about getting additional prescription medications and have enough household items and groceries on hand to stay home as needed.