AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott says bars can begin reopening in Texas for the first time since June. But the order limits bars to resume business at 50% capacity beginning next week, and only in counties that grant permission. The state this week surpassed 16,000 virus deaths and is closing in on 800,000 confirmed cases. Last month, Abbott began relaxing some coronavirus restrictions for the first time since a massive summer outbreak hammered Texas. Although caseloads have dramatically dropped since August, hospitalizations in the state have remained flat at roughly 3,200 patients for two weeks.
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