What he's saying: Abbott said a "bar setting, in reality, just doesn't work with a pandemic", adding that people "go to bars to get close and to drink and to socialize, and that's the kind of thing that stokes the spread of the coronavirus".
Texas has reported more than 17,000 confirmed new cases in the last three days with a record high positive tests of 5,996 on Thursday. Texas reported a new record high 4,739 Texans hospitalized by COVID-19 Thursday.
Numerous states that were spared the brunt of the original outbreak or moved early to lift restrictions on residents and businesses are seeing rising variety of infections and hospitalizations.
Bars and all businesses that receive at least 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages may remain open for delivery and take-out.More news: California Closing Bars as Coronavirus Infection Spreads, Governor Newsom Says
Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars across Texas to close by mid-day and required restaurants to limit indoor seating capacity to 50%, while Florida state officials told bars to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises.
The positivity rate is also among the highest in the nation at over 10 percent. Abbott warned earlier this month that a rate of about 10 percent would trigger new restrictions.
"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.More news: Watch Deadpool's Ryan Reynolds Hilariously Crash 'X-Men' Coronavirus Benefit Reunion
Despite the grim news from Texas, Florida and elsewhere, President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States was coming back from the crisis, which has halted large parts of the economy and left millions jobless.
DeSantis has been lifting restrictions more slowly than a task force recommended but has allowed theme parks to reopen, encouraged professional sports to come to Florida and pushed for the GOP convention to be held in the Sunshine State. A number of governors are halting phased reopening plans, in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Restaurants were able to operate at 75% capacity.
Despite those allowances, some establishments have closed in recent days due to the rising cases throughout the state. The two states joined the small but growing list of those that are either backtracking or putting any further reopenings of their economies on hold because of a comeback by the virus, mostly in the South and West.
While younger people with COVID-19 are less likely to suffer the most serious health outcomes, they could spread it to people who are more vulnerable. But he quickly struck a newly urgent tone, urging people to stay home while warning that a "massive outbreak" is sweeping through Texas.More news: Sacha Baron Cohen Dupes Right-Wing Militia With Prank