HOUSTON, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Governor of the U.S. state of Texas Greg Abbott announced Thursday that COVID-19 restrictions will be loosened in most areas of the state from Monday.
According to Abbott, businesses in areas where coronavirus patients make up less than 15 percent of all hospitalizations can open at 75 percent of capacity starting Monday. Those businesses include retail stores, restaurants and office buildings.
Hospitals in those areas will also be allowed to have normal elective procedures. Nursing homes and assisted living centers can reopen for visitations under certain standards starting from Sept. 24, he added.
However, Abbott said bars are not ready to be reopened, saying they are "nationally recognized as COVID-spreading locations."
After the announcement, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the procedure might be "a little more aggressive."
"The state has taken a little more aggressive approach rather than cautious approach in announcing the next round of reopening," he tweeted.
According to official figures, the state reported 3,518 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 112 new coronavirus related deaths.
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