The weekend began with governors in two southern states shutting down bars amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis made the decision as the Sunshine State witnessed a record number of recorded cases. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott also put new restrictions on restaurant dining.
DeSantis said his order to close bars was made because "people weren’t following" the guidelines for reopening set by the state. “There was widespread noncompliance, and that led to issues," he said on Friday. "If folks just follow the guidelines, we’re going to be in good shape. When you depart from that, then it becomes problematic.”
NBC News put the numbers into perspective: Florida added a record of 8,942 new COVID-19 cases on Friday after 32,000 cases were reported in the last week. The previous single-day total, also set during the last seven days, was 5,508 cases.
Abbott had previously vowed action if the positivity rate in Texas increased above 10%. His executive order closed all bars and businesses which earn more than 51% of their income from alcohol sales for in-person service. The establishments will be allowed to remain open for delivery and take-out, alcohol included. Restaurants are being permitted to remain open, but their capacity cannot exceed 50%.
“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars," the governor said in a statement. "The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health. We want this to be as limited in duration as possible. However, we can only slow the spread if everyone in Texas does their part."
You Might Also Like