Gov. Abbott expands local authority on outdoor gatherings
AUSTIN, Texas - Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a new proclamation expanding local authority on outdoor gatherings.
The proclamation allows mayors and county judges to impose restrictions on outdoor gatherings of over 100 people. Previously, restrictions could only be imposed on outdoor gatherings over 500 people.
RELATED: Abbott says rate of COVID-19 spread ‘unacceptable’ in Texas, doesn’t impose new rules or closures
The proclamation follows data showing an increase in COVID-19 transmission in Texas and precedes Independence Day celebrations next week.
From May 15 to 31, Texas averaged approximately 1,200 new positive cases a day. Between June 17 and June 22, the average jumped to roughly 3,600 a day.
On average, there were more than 1,700 hospitalizations per day in the second half of May, from May 15 to 31. The daily average from June 17 to June 21 is 3,100. The positivity rate has nearly doubled, from approximately 4.5 percent in late May, to 9 percent Monday.
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Abbott has also directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to enact emergency rules providing strict health and safety standards and procedures related to COVID-19 for Texas child care centers.
“Today’s proclamation and emergency rules will aid in that effort in two key ways: allowing restrictions on large gatherings where COVID-19 is easily spread and implementing a statewide standard of infection control for child care centers," Abbott said in a release. "However, as we face this challenge, there is no substitute for personal responsibility. I urge all Texans to do everything in their power to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus by wearing a face mask, washing their hands often, and staying six-feet apart from others.”
RELATED: Abbott: Closing down Texas again will always be the last option
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