Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that businesses across the state can expand capacity, based on their region’s levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Abbott said that in regions where coronavirus hospitalizations make up less than 15% of all hospitalizations, businesses can increase capacity from 50% to 75%, starting Monday. The state is broken down into 22 hospital regions, and all but three have coronavirus hospitalization rates under 15%.
The three regions that are above 15% are Laredo, Victoria and Lower Rio Grande Valley.
This means that all restaurants, offices, retail stores, manufacturing facilities, museums, libraries and gyms in North Texas can increase capacity to 75%, as soon as Monday.
Abbott also said that hospitals in the regions under 15% can resume elective surgical procedures, and all nursing homes and assisted living centers can reopen for visitation, starting Sept. 24.
Bars, however, are still not allowed to reopen because they have been identified as COVID-19 hotspots nationally.
The relaxed restrictions are a result of a steady decline in COVID-19 cases since July, Abbott said. State officials urged residents to continue to be safe — maintain social distance, wear masks and stay home if you’re sick.