Severity: Warning Alert

Transportation: Officials in Texas to ease certain restrictions in most counties starting Sept. 21 due to a decrease in COVID-19 activity.

Alert Begins 18 Sep 2020 06:25 PM UTC
Alert Expires 08 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Texas (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Likely transport and business disruptions

Summary
Officials in Texas plan to ease certain business restrictions in most of the state due to a decrease in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Effective Sept. 21, retail shops, gyms, and restaurants in 241 of the state's 254 counties may increase their operating capacities to 75 percent; additionally, hospitals in the affected jurisdictions may resume elective surgeries. Such establishments in Texas' remaining 13 counties - specifically Calhoun, Cameron, DeWitt, Goliad, Hidalgo, Jackson, Jim Hogg, Lavaca, Starr, Victoria, Webb, Willacy, and Zapata counties - continue to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Texas remains on Phase 3 of its economic recovery plan, under which numerous businesses and facilities are allowed to operate, including movie theaters, office-based businesses, amusement parks, personal care businesses, childcare centers, youth camps, and places of worship. Professional, collegiate, and recreational sports events are also allowed.

Indoor dining remains prohibited at all bars and similar establishments that receive more than half of their gross receipts from alcoholic beverages; carry-out and delivery services are allowed, however. Additionally, rafting and tubing businesses remain closed. Outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people must be approved by local officials.

All businesses that operate must train their employees in the use of safety measures, provide protective face coverings, enhance sanitation procedures, and enforce social distancing.

The use of facemasks is mandatory in any indoor our outdoor public space in all counties with 20 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Transport and business disruptions remain likely. Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Advice
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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