On Wednesday something will happen that hasn’t technically been allowed since late June, bars will be allowed to reopen at 50% capacity if county judges allow.
“Until now, only two types of businesses have not been open” since then, Abbott said in a Facebook video last week when he made the announcement. “One is river tubing operations and the other is bars. It is time to open them up.”
Bars will be expected to follow the same distance and seating protocols that restaurants follow, Abbott said. He also said that these new expansions are only applied in the hospital regions where COVID hospitalizations are less than 15% of hospital capacity.
Here in Nueces County the number of hospitalized patients was at 65 on Tuesday, and that is significantly lower than it was back in the summer. But the statewide numbers tell a somewhat different story.
On Tuesday Texas reported 64 more COVID-19 deaths. The state death toll is now 16,622. State health officials also reported 5,209 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That number increased by 1,337 more cases than a week ago.
Also on Tuesday the state said that 4,053 COVID-19 patients are in Texas hospitals. That number increased by 659 more patients than a week ago.
To give those numbers some contrast the 5,209 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday marks the first time Texas has been over 5,000 daily new cases since September 30.
The marker of 4,053 hospitalized COVID-19 patients marks the first time Texas has been over 4,000 hospitalized statewide since September 3.