Gov. Greg Abbott this week announced the third phase of the state’s plan to safely open the economy while containing the spread of COVID-19.
Under Phase III, effective immediately, all businesses in Texas will be able to operate at up to 50% capacity, with limited exceptions. Business that previously have been able to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so, and most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits. All businesses and customers should continue to follow minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
As of Thursday, COVID-19 cases in Kaufman County stood at 242 with one death, according to the DSHS. A total of 220 of those cases are presumed to have recovered. The Forney/Mesquite area led the county with 121 cases. Terrell reported 63, according to DSHS.
As with previous phases, the Phase III plan is based on the advice and support of the four doctors on the Strike Force to Open. Phase III begins immediately.
"The people of Texas continue to prove that we can safely and responsibly open our state for business while containing COVID-19 and keeping our state safe,” said Abbott. "As anticipated, the new positive cases that we are seeing are largely the result of isolated hot spots in nursing homes, jails, and meat packing plants. Thanks to the effectiveness of our Surge Response Teams, we have the ability to contain those hot spots while opening up Texas for business. As we begin Phase III, I ask all Texans and Texas businesses to continue following the standard health protocols and to heed the guidance of our state and federal officials who continue to closely monitor COVID-19. If we remain vigilant, we will continue to mitigate the spread of this virus, protect public health, and get more Texans back to work and their daily activities."
Between May 26 and June 2, over 45% of new cases in Texas came from jails or prisons, meat packing plants and nursing homes. Earlier this week, 1,487 Texans were hospitalized due to COVID-19. There were 20,679 active cases in the state and 45,858 Texans are estimated to have recovered.
Effective June 3:
All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions.
Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.
Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity.
Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.
Effective June 12:
Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%.
Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.
Effective June 19:
Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.
Special provisions have been made for outdoor gatherings, such as Fourth of July celebrations, but it is imperative that local officials and public health officials collaborate on safe standards. These provisions are included in the Governor's Executive Order and are also available on the Open Texas webpage.
All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols from DSHS.
Reminders for those going out:
- Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings.
- People should not be in groups greater than ten when possible.
- People over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
- People are still asked to avoid nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities.