One day after pausing plans to continue reopening the Lone Star State, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday several new measures—including closing bars—in an attempt to contain soaring case numbers. “As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10 percent, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbot said in a press release. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.”
As part of the new order, all bars and similar establishments that receive more than 50 percent of their sales from alcohol will close Friday starting at midnight, but can maintain delivery and takeout services. Restaurants may continue dine-in services, but they cannot exceed 50 percent occupancy. Rafting and water tubing businesses will also close, while outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people must have special approval. The order comes only a day after Abbott said he would place the state’s reopening plan on pause as Texas has seen record numbers of new COVID-19 cases.