A day after he hit the pause button on the state's reopening plan, Gov. Greg Abbott is reinstating some restrictions designed to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Friday morning, Abbott issued an executive order closing bars across the state at noon Friday and placing a 50% occupancy limit at restaurants, amusement parks and certain other indoor businesses statewide, effective Monday. The order also closes rafting and tubing businesses.
The move comes as reported cases of COVID-19 surge across the state, including in Dallas County. Thursday, just two days after the state's single-day new case total crossed the 5,000 mark for the first time, the state reported 5,996 new cases of the novel coronavirus.
Thursday, Abbott issued two separate executive orders, one suspending all elective surgeries at hospitals in Dallas, Harris, Travis and Bexar counties and another freezing in place capacity restrictions at businesses across the state.
Also on Thursday, Houston's Texas Medical Center, the world's largest medical facility, announced 100% of its ICU beds were full. Officials at the medical center said staff members there were converting other rooms into critical care rooms. In a letter Thursday, officials at the medical center said that, if the surge continues, the hospital's resources could become overwhelmed.
In Dallas County, hospitalizations for COVID-19 climbed 88% between June 1 and Wednesday, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
Across the state, 2,296 people have died from COVID-19, according to Texas Health and Human Services.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.