AUSTIN, Texas – Texas on Monday began relaxing some coronavirus restrictions, including allowing restaurants to let more people inside.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced the changes last week. Bars though still remain closed indefinitely and a mask mandate is still in place following a massive summer spread that became one of the deadliest outbreaks in the U.S.
Under the new orders, restaurants and retail shops that until now have only been allowed to operate at half capacity were allowed to open up to 75% starting Monday in most of the state.
The Texas Department of State Health Services on Monday reported 1,742 new coronavirus cases and 24 more deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Health officials say there have been 698,387 reported cases in Texas so far. The death toll is at 14,917.
The true number of cases is likely higher though because many people haven’t been tested and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and a cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.