Reaction mixed to new restrictions on bars, restaurants

MGN Online

MGN Online

"The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health". The state has had 131,917 Texans diagnosed with COVID-19 and has reported 2,296 fatalities as of Thursday.

Businesses already permitted to open under the state's previous phases of reopening can "continue to operate at the designated occupancy levels and under the minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services", according to the press release.

"But we encourage all business owners and citizens to use common sense, and to follow the governor's executive orders to the extent they can", Manna said in the initial statement, the Abilene Reporter News reported.

In Texas, where Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to visit Sunday for an indoor "Celebrate Freedom" event at a 14,000-member Dallas megachurch, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was effectively closing bars and reducing restaurant capacity from 75% to 50%.

Texas has been cited in a number of national news reports as a hot spot and an example of a state that re-opened its businesses too early and without enough restrictions.

"It's also going to affect us because the community is going to be nervous again", she said, "and people are not going to come out as much". They won't risk breaking a violation of any sort, she said. Oliver says they'll continue these same measures until all is settled because they don't want to put customers in danger. "We still have all of our tables 6 feet apart to make everything safe and sanitary". Almost 6,000 new cases were diagnosed, also a record daily high.

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Infections have risen dramatically across the nation following business reopenings and protests that began last month after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Virus hospitalizations in Texas rose to 4,739 Thursday and 5,996 new infections were reported. The state's rolling infection rate almost hit 12% Thursday.

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The governor's order was in response to Texas' positive test rate going above 10%, but doesn't have an expiration date and no guidelines for when bars might reopen again.

Under the newest rollbacks, restaurant dining rooms must scale back to half capacity starting Monday.

Democrats leading the state's largest counties and cities have been pressuring the governor to reopen more slowly, to no avail. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, also a Republican, is also telling residents to stay home and on Thursday declaring the state "on pause" as hospitals accelerate toward capacity.

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