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Phase 3 of reopening Texas allows all businesses to reopen at 50% beginning Wednesday, Abbott says

Pierre-Antoine Boureau handling a tape measure as he prepares the terrace of a restaurant in order to respect distancing to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in Paris, Monday, June 1, 2020. France is reopening its restaurants, bars and cafes starting tomorrow as the country eases most restrictions amid the coronavirus crisis. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Pierre-Antoine Boureau handling a tape measure as he prepares the terrace of a restaurant in order to respect distancing to help curb the spread of the coronavirus in Paris, Monday, June 1, 2020. France is reopening its restaurants, bars and cafes starting tomorrow as the country eases most restrictions amid the coronavirus crisis. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HOUSTON – Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that the third phase of his reopening of the Texas economy begins Wednesday.

In Phase III, all businesses in Texas will be able to operate at up to 50% capacity, effective immediately, according to a news release. Businesses that previously have been able to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so, and most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits.

All businesses and customers should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to the news release.

Abbott said the new positive COVID-19 cases are largely the result of “isolated hot spots in nursing homes, jails and meatpacking plants.”

Between May 26 and June 2, more than 45% of new cases came from jails or prisons, meatpacking plants and nursing homes, according to the news release.

“Thanks to the effectiveness of our Surge Response Teams, we have the ability to contain those hot spots while opening up Texas for business,” Abbott said in the release. “As we begin Phase III, I ask all Texans and Texas businesses to continue following the standard health protocols and to heed the guidance of our state and federal officials who continue to closely monitor COVID-19. If we remain vigilant, we will continue to mitigate the spread of this virus, protect public health, and get more Texans back to work and their daily activities.”

There are currently 1,487 Texans hospitalized due to COVID-19. There are 20,679 active cases in the state and 45,858 Texans are estimated to have recovered as of Wednesday evening.

How Phase 3 will pan out:

Wednesday, Jun 3

  • All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions.
  • Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.
  • Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity.
  • Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.

Friday, June 12

  • Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%.
  • Counties with 10 or fewer active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.

Friday, June 19

  • Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity

Fourth of July and other celebrations

Special provisions have been made for outdoor gatherings, such as Fourth of July celebrations, but it is imperative that local officials and public health officials collaborate on safety standards.

These provisions are included in the Governor’s Executive Order and are also available on the Open Texas webpage.

Additional advice and information

All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard of health protocols from the Department of Health and Human Services.

For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit open.texas.gov.

If you’re going out:

  • Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings.
  • People should not be in groups greater than ten when possible.
  • People over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
  • People are still asked to avoid nursing homes, state-supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities.

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