Texas Temporarily Pauses Additional Reopenings as COVID-19 Cases Rise
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Thursday that the state would be pausing any further phases of reopening businesses following a recent increase in COVID-19 cases. Businesses that had been permitted to reopen under previous phases may continue to operate under previously established occupancy restrictions and social distancing guidelines. As part of this initiative, Gov. Abbott is also temporarily banning elective and nonessential surgeries to allow medical facilities the bandwidth to adjust to the rise in cases. The strongest uptick in new cases of late has been concentrated in Harris County, which has seen more than 1,300 new cases per day over the last three days. In addition, over the past weekend, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission suspended the alcohol licenses of more than a dozen bars in Texas, including some in the Houston area, that were noncompliant with occupancy and social distancing mandates. As of Thursday, June 25, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services had identified approximately 132,000 cases of COVID-19 and 2,300 fatalities across the state.