Texas Governor Greg Abbott Pauses Re-Opening Phase Following Increase in COVID-19 Cases and Increase in Hospitalizations

In an effort to slow a surge of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Greg Abbott has order bars in Texas to close again starting Friday. Restaurants are also order to go back to a 50% limited capacity.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Thursday June 25, 2020 that the state of Texas COVID-19 reopening has been halted.

“The State of Texas will pause any further phases to open Texas as the state responds to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

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.

“As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families.”

— Texas Governor Greg Abbott

The governor also suspended elective surgeries in four counties (Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis) over concerns about hospital space. An executive order directs all hospitals there to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary.

The shut down in Texas began about two weeks later than the shut down in Illinois, which occurred St. Patrick’s day weekend about March 17, 2020. The Texas shutdown began on March 31 when Abbott signed an executive order directing people to minimize social gatherings and in-person contact with people outside the home.

In mid-May, some non-essential businesses, like gyms and wedding venues, were allowed to begin reopening at 25 % capacity, and hair salons were allowed to reopen with social distancing measures in place. Illinois gyms were allowed to re-open at reduced capacity today, Friday June 26, 2020.



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