Texas governor orders bars to close amid surge in virus cases




Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered bars to close in the state amid a surge in coronavirus cases
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered bars to close in the state amid a surge in coronavirus cases  

Houston (AFP) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to close on Friday amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the second most populous state in the country.

As Abbott outlined a series of measures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, the chief executive of Harris County, the state's largest, issued a stay-at-home advisory and raised the threat level to Level 1, or "severe."

Under Abbott's executive order, bars are required to close but may continue to provide delivery and take-out service.

Restaurants can remain open but with only 50 percent indoor capacity.

Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people need the approval of local governments.

"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," Abbott said in a statement.

"At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," he said.

"The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and protect public health.

"We want this to be as limited in duration as possible."

Lina Hidalgo, the chief executive of Harris County, which includes the city of Houston and has a population of over four million, urged residents to respect her stay-at-home advisory.

"Stay home except for essential needs," Hidalgo said. "Anything short of staying home is setting us up for failure.

"This pandemic is like an invisible hurricane," she said. "This is a serious situation. The outbreaks are worsening."

She said she was raising the threat level from Level 2, or "significant," to Level 1 -- "severe."

Texas was among the most aggressive states in reopening in early June after months of lockdown.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reported a new record of 5,596 new coronavirus cases Thursday, a major jump from just 10 days ago, when the state had only 1,254 new cases in a day.

Abbott is an ally of Donald Trump, but his latest announcement is in stark contrast to the president, who has tried to signal that the virus crisis is largely over.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Florida reports largest, single-day increase in COVID cases
Florida reports largest, single-day increase in COVID cases
  • World
  • 2020-07-12 15:31:27Z

Florida shattered the national record Sunday for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of the pandemic, adding more than 15,000 cases as its daily average death toll continued to also rise. According to state Department of Health statistics, 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases, and 45 deaths were recorded. California had the previous record of daily positive cases - 11,694, set on Wednesday.

Georgia. Ohio. Texas. Democrats Tell Biden to Go Big (He
Georgia. Ohio. Texas. Democrats Tell Biden to Go Big (He's Being Cautious).

WASHINGTON -- With President Donald Trump's poll numbers sliding in traditional battlegrounds as well as conservative-leaning states, and money pouring into Democratic campaigns, Joe Biden is facing rising pressure to expand his ambitions, compete aggressively in more states and press his party's advantage down the ballot.In a series of phone calls, Democratic lawmakers and party officials have lobbied Biden and his top aides to seize what they believe could be a singular opportunity not only to defeat Trump but also to rout him and discredit what they believe is his dangerous style of racial demagogy.This election, the officials argue, offers the provocative possibility of a new path to...

Texas Lt. Governor Is Determined to Sacrifice Everyone but Himself for GOP Convention
Texas Lt. Governor Is Determined to Sacrifice Everyone but Himself for GOP Convention

Nobody howled louder than Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick when Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner barred the state GOP from holding its convention there amid a COVID-19 explosion."This is nothing but a political hack job by Mayor Turner," Patrick told Laura Ingraham on Fox News.Patrick failed to mention that he and Gov. Greg Abbott and various other GOP elected officials had earlier opted out of actually joining the 6,000 party stalwarts who signed up for the July 16th gathering at the George R. Brown Convention center. They had instead planned to address the gathering via video."All the elected officials are switching from a live, in-person speech to videos," state GOP executive director Kyle...

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he hasn
Dr. Anthony Fauci says he hasn't briefed Trump in at least two months, despite pandemic resurgence

Asked about Trump's claim 99% of coronavirus cases were "harmless," Fauci said the president had made an error and conflated statistics.

The US has run out of time and excuses. Now we
The US has run out of time and excuses. Now we'll be forced to watch thousands die of the coronavirus.

The US set a record with 60,000 coronavirus cases reported on Tuesday. Hospitalizations are rising in many states, inevitably followed by deaths.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America