On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott took action to fight the recent uptick in coronavirus cases. He made the move to shut down bars and scaled back restaurant capacity to 50%.
“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," Abbott said in a news release. "The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health."
Bars must close at noon Friday, June 26, and the change for restaurants goes into effect Monday, June 29. Prior to the announcement, bars were allowed to be open with 50% capacity and restaurants at 75%.
Abbott had also shut down river-rafting trips and banned outdoor gatherings of over 100 people unless local officials approve.
"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," Abbott said. "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."
On Monday, Abbott said shutting down the state again was “a last resort,” however Thursday was another record setting day for new cases, 5,996. Hospitalizations also set a record with 4,739. This was the 14th consecutive record setting day for hospitalizations.