Some businesses in Texas can expand to 75% capacity Monday. Governor Greg Abbott announced the expansion last week, saying restaurants, gyms, office buildings, manufacturing plants, libraries and museums could add more people.
"There are some Texans who want to fully open Texas 100% as if COVID is no longer a threat," Abbott said. "The fact is Texas does still exist, and most Texans remain susceptible."
Businesses are allowed to expand in North Texas, but the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and Victoria must stay at 50% capacity. Abbott says those restrictions will stay in place for any region where COVID-19 patients make up at least 15% of hospitalizations.
In North Texas, the Department of State Health Services says hospitals have a total of 754 COVID-19 patients, 2,027 available hospital beds, 308 available ICU beds and 1,866 available ventilators.
Across Texas, bars have not been allowed to reopen. Abbott said bars are "nationally recognized" as places COVID-19 can be spread.
"If we fully reopen Texas without limits, without safe practices, it could lead to an unsustainable increase in COVID that would lead to the possibility of being forced to ratchet back down," Abbott said.
The Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance has called the plan "unacceptable." President Michael Klein says 30% of bars and 39% of distilleries could close within six months.
Klein says he gave Abbott a six-point plan to reopen bars safely in August, but the governor's office never responded.