Abbott closes bars, limits other businesses as virus cases spike

Abbott closes bars, limits other businesses as virus cases spike

The suspension of elective surgeries is created to protect hospital space in the Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas.

The announcements marked a major step back by both states -two of the largest and early drivers in attempts to re-open the economy - and an acknowledgement that infection figures had grown too worrisome to stand pat.

Abbott on Friday closed bars, ordered restaurants to return to half capacity, and took other measures against the state's rise in coronavirus infections.

"There is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the state of Texas", Abbott said Thursday. On Thursday, he suspended elective surgeries in the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio areas to free up hospital bed space.

Abbott urged every resident to do his or her part to stem the spread of the virus by wearing a mask, washing hands regularly and socially distance from others.

As Texas announces it is again closing down bars due to a surge in new coronavirus cases, the number of confirmed new cases per day in the United States hit an all-time high of 40,000 yesterday. Harris County - covering cases outside the city of Houston - has reported a total of 142 deaths and 9,533 confirmed cases.

Rafting and tubing businesses must close, and outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions, Abbott said.

Several states in the South and West are suffering what White House advisor and top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci described as "disturbing" new surges in infections. "The more that we all follow these guidelines, the safer our state will be and the more we can open up Texas for business", he added.

During a press conference, the CEOs of Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann Health System, St. Luke's Health and Texas Children's Hospital said they are concerned about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. On Tuesday, Texas health officials reported 5,489 new cases of COVID-19, marking the first time the state's daily new case count had crossed the 5,000 mark.

That statewide ban lasted about a month before Abbott eased it, allowing hospitals to resume non-essential procedures under certain conditions, as long as 15% of beds were reserved for coronavirus patients.

Texas was among the first states to begin the process of reopening, and many businesses are in operation once again.

"The Fake News doesn't like telling you that!" he said.

According to its research, "Pregnant women were significantly more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to the intensive care unit, and receive mechanical ventilation than nonpregnant women; however, pregnant women were not at greater risk for death from COVID-19".

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