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Friday, 22 May 2020 22:30

Coronavirus in Texas: Bars, Bowling Alleys and Other Businesses Can Begin Reopening May 22

Written by Texas Tribune staff

As part of Gov. Greg Abbott's attempt to begin reviving the economy, myriad Texas businesses can reopen May 22.

That includes bars, bowling alleys and aquariums at limited capacity. Restaurants can also operate at 50% capacity; they've been permitted to operate at 25% capacity since May 1. At bars, dancing and other close-contact interactions are discouraged, and customers should be seated at tables. For bowling alleys, bingo halls and roller skating rinks, customers must be kept 6 feet apart, including between bowling lanes and people playing bingo. 

 

Here is a full guide to the businesses that can reopen and the guidelines they must follow. 

 

The state’s April jobless rate was 12.8%---Texas’ worst monthly tally on record. Previously, the state’s worst-ever monthly unemployment rate was 9.2% in November 1986, as Texas reeled from the last big oil bust.

 

Although businesses are reopening, Abbott's attempts to revive the economy will be hampered by the ongoing pandemic, experts say.

 

“The health thing is driving the economics,” said Keith Phillips, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

 

In explaining his rationale for allowing businesses to reopen, Abbott has zeroed in on two figures. One is the ratio of positive cases to tests conducted. The other is the hospitalization rate---the proportion of infected Texans who are requiring hospitalization.

 

Both those numbers have trended down over several weeks, but Texas is still often seeing 1,000 or more people test positive for the virus each day.

 

We thank The Texas Tribune for reprint permission. 

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