Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: As of July 10, officials in Texas continue to reimpose some restrictions due to an increase in COVID-19 activity.

  • Alert Begins: 10 Jul 2020 11:47 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 22 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Texas (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business disruptions likely

As of July 10, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has issued orders to reimpose certain restrictions in the state, to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Authorities have ordered the suspension of elective surgeries in hospitals in 113 of the state's 254 counties, including in several of the most populated ones: Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Travis, Hidalgo, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Williamson, Cameron, and Brazoria.

Authorities have also ordered the use of facemasks in any public space, both indoor and outdoor, in all counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases.

Previously, state officials had ordered the closure of dine-in services at all bars and similar establishments that receive more than half of their gross receipts from alcoholic beverages. They can continue providing take-out and delivery services. Additionally, rafting and tubing businesses must close. Any outdoor gathering of more than 100 people must receive approval from local governments. State officials have also allowed local authorities to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people. Restaurants can offer dine-in service at 50 percent capacity instead of the 75 percent they were previously allowed.

Otherwise, the state will remain on Phase 3 of its economic recovery plan, under which numerous businesses and activities are allowed, including retail stores, malls, movie theaters, gyms, office-based businesses, and amusement parks which can operate at 50 percent capacity; personal care businesses, childcare centers, youth camps, professional, collegiate and recreational sports, and places of worship may also operate.

In all businesses, employers must train personnel for safety measures, screen their health, send home those with possible COVID-19 symptoms, consider the use of protective masks, enhance sanitation, and ensure social distancing measures.

Transport and business disruptions remain likely. Officials could amend orders on short notice, depending on disease activity.

Background and Analysis
An increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks has led authorities in Texas to reimpose some previously eased restrictions. Additional restrictions may be imposed in the coming days if the number of cases is not contained.

Monitor for updates from the authorities. Reconfirm medical appointments. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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