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Houston-area restaurants, businesses allowed to increase capacity as COVID hospitalizations decline

Now that our region has seen a decrease in COVID patients in the hospital, restaurants can open back up to 75% capacity.

HOUSTON — With COVID hospitalizations dropping across the region, restaurants and certain businesses are free to welcome back more customers and indoor bars can open back up.  But when it comes to bars, they can reopen only if the county judge allows it.

This includes businesses and bars in Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Matagorda, Walker, Waller, Austin, Colorado, Brazoria, Chambers, Wharton and Galveston counties.

RELATED: U.K. studies show COVID-19 vaccines led to sharp drop in hospital admissions

It’s part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-32, which was issued last October to continue reopening Texas. Back in January, when COVID hospitalizations rose above 15% of total hospital capacity for seven straight days, restaurants and certain businesses in the Houston area were ordered to roll back openings. And indoor bars had to close.

But, now that the region has had seven straight days of COVID hospitalizations under 15% of capacity, restaurants and other businesses can open back to 75%. Indoor bars can open back up, too, but only if the county judge says they can.  

You can read the full order here