Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday announced that he will roll back the state's reopening plans as the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.
"As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Abbott said just a day after he placed the state's reopening plans on pause. "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 governor's new order will include the following restrictions:
- Bars and similar businesses that receive more than 51% of their sales from alcohol will be closed at 12:00 p.m. Friday. They may remain open for delivery and take-out.
- Restaurants can remain open for dine-in services at no more than 50% capacity, starting Monday.
- All rafting and tubing businesses must close.
- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local government officials.
Abbott hopes his rollback initiative will be "as limited in duration as possible."
"The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health," Abbott said. "However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part."
Texas reported a 79% increase in its weekly average of coronavirus cases on Thursday with an average of 4,757 daily new cases. The average daily number of hospitalizations in the state increased around 55% compared to last week.
While other states have paused their reopening plans, Texas will become the first state to reimpose a lockdown.