Group of Texas bar owners sues to reopen amid pandemic

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A sign on the door of the West Alabama Icehouse reads "Closed by the Governor", Monday, June 29, 2020, in Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shut down bars again and scaled back restaurant dining on Friday as cases climbed to record levels after the state embarked on one of America's fastest reopening. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A group of Texas bar owners filed lawsuits Monday seeking to overturn Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s order that closed their businesses to help contain the spread of the coronavirus in Texas. Abbott has pinpointed the re-opening of bars last month as one of the sources behind a dramatic spike in new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations. The lawsuits allege Abbott’s order violate the state constitution. Abbott hasn’t said when he might allow them to reopen. The University of Texas released return-to-school plans for the fall, including a mask requirement in campus buildings.