Two states that showed early success in battling the coronavirus pandemic are taking a step back after seeing a record number of new cases. Texas and Florida both announced that bars and other businesses must close down again.
In Texas, the move comes one day after Governor Greg Abbott announced the state was pausing its plan to reopen. Abbott had initially said he did not want to move backward but was forced to make the decision based on the number of new cases.
"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 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."
Under his order, any establishment which makes a majority of its sales from alcohol will have to close, but will still be allowed to operate take-out and delivery services. Restaurants will be allowed to remain open but must reduce their capacity by 50%. Tubing and rafting businesses will also have to shut down, and large public gatherings of more than 100 people will need to be approved by local government officials.
In Florida, officials said that on-premise consumption of alcohol will be prohibited. There is no word if any other businesses will have to close or if other restrictions are coming.
Florida has seen 32,000 new cases in the last seven days, as the total number approaches 123,000. On Friday (June 26), state officials announced a new record of 8,942 cases, shattering Wednesday's record of 5,511 cases.
In Texas, there have been more than 136,000 confirmed cases. On Thursday, officials said there nearly 6,000 new cases, which is a new daily record.
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