[Updated] Several other states have closed down bars and made plans to pause or reverse reopening plans. Florida, Arizona, and several California counties including Los Angeles have closed their bars. New Jersey has placed a pause on indoor dining that was due to reopen on July 2nd. One county in Idaho has also shut down bars and several other states are considering measures to combat an increase in coronavirus cases.
Instagram co-founder, Kevin Systrom, created the site RT.live to help showcase the Rnaught or R0 value for each state. This value measures how fast the virus is spreading or decreasing and the goal is to keep the transmission rate below 1.0. At 1.0, one person would only be infecting one other person. RT.live's latest chart shows that only 16 states are below that threshold compared to two months ago when every state except for seven states were below 1.0.
In addition to shutting down bars, states are looking at slowing restaurant capacities and Texas has moved the threshold back down to 50% from 75%. New York, Oregon, and other states have referenced they are keeping a watchful eye on their numbers to determine if they will continue to only pause reopening phases or move back from certain activities.
Roughly 20 states have a statewide mandate to wear masks in public where social distancing is not an option and only four states have no such requirement. The remaining states have various requirements from county to county. Bar & Restaurant will continue to update this data as states change their guidance.
Original Article: Today, Governor Greg Abbott has made the announcement that they will take further measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Earlier this week, he announced that Texas would slow reopening initiatives but has now announced more aggressive measures to combat the current coronavirus trends.
Starting at noon today, all bars that sell more than 51% of alcohol will have to close their doors and can open for takeout and delivery. Restaurants may remain open at 50% capacity of their indoor limit.
Breaking: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is closing bars and lowering restaurant occupancy back to 50%.— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) June 26, 2020
This comes as Texas faces record-high coronavirus cases across the state. https://t.co/nRdQkzCg6s
The full text reads as:
- All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 PM today. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
- Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
- Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
Governor Abbott has indicated that additional preventive measures would be enacted if the positivity rate rose above 10%. According to the latest John Hopkins data, the positivity rate has exceeded that benchmark for the last week and was reported at 12.4% yesterday. The latest reported seven-day moving average for the United State is 6.1%.
In addition to bars closing, the state of Texas has also ordered elective medical surgeries to stop in certain counties to ensure there are enough beds available as hospital capacities are starting to fill out.
In other states, North Carolina, California, and Nevada have implemented requirements for face masks in public and Florida has seen a number of new record highs for positive tests.
This story is breaking and will be updated with more information.