Gov. Greg Abbott announces bars must close at noon, businesses back to 50% capacity

Fort Worth resident Robbie Clark, right, and Mansfield resident Kirby Allman speak with a waitress at J. Gilligan's Bar and Grill on May 1 in Arlington.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Friday limiting certain businesses and services in an effort to further contain the spread of COVID-19 in Texas.

The decision comes after Abbott announced Thursday that any further phases to reopen Texas will be paused temporarily as the number of positive cases and hospitalizations continue to increase.

According to a Friday press release, the positivity rate in Texas has increased above 10%. As of Thursday, there are 55,125 active cases throughout the state. Over 11,000 of those cases have been reported within the past two days.

Bars, restaurants, and rafting and tubing businesses are among the establishments affected.

“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. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health.”

As of Thursday, there are 10,363 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tarrant County. According to the county’s website, the community spread level is substantial.

“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,” Abbott said. “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.”

@daisygarciac

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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