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Dallas County Restaurants Must ‘Immediately’ Reduce Dining Capacity to 50 Percent

The county’s total hospital occupancy rate has exceeded the governor’s threshold for reduction for the past seven consecutive days

Abbott announces the reopening of more Texas businesses
Gov. Abbott’s latest executive order requires the reduction in capacity
Photo by Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

As new coronavirus cases and related hospitalizations surge across the country, Dallas County restaurants will “immediately” have to limit their capacity back to 50 percent.

Dallas County judge Clay Jenkins announced in a tweet on Thursday afternoon that the county has officially surpassed the 15 percent hospital utilization threshold outlined in Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that went into effect on October 14. Prior to the rollback, restaurants are allowed to seat diners at up to 75 percent of their typical occupancy.

Bars, which have not been allowed to reopen in Dallas County, will remain closed. Other businesses impacted by the rollback include gyms, museums, retail stores, and office facilities.

Gov. Abbott has repeatedly said that further statewide shutdowns are not in the cards, but the worsening numbers are an automatic trigger for the restrictions. According to a press release from Jenkins’s office, the reduction will take effect immediately and stay in effect until the county’s hospital capacity falls below 15 percent for 7 consecutive days.

On Thursday, Dallas County reported 2,122 newly identified cases of COVID-19.

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