State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to close restaurants to on-premise dining until the spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has been reversed.
In making the request, Coleman notes that despite the best efforts of responsible restaurant owners, more and more restaurants are being closed because their employees are testing positive for COVID-19.
“One can’t wear a mask while eating, and COVID-19 transmission is more likely when people spend a long time visiting with others indoors without wearing a mask,” said Coleman. “The sooner we get serious about halting the spread of the virus, the sooner we will be able to go out to enjoy a meal in our favorite restaurants, operating at full capacity, without fear of contracting COVID-19.”
Coleman wants Abbott to issue an order requiring restaurants to move back to drive-through, carryout, and curbside delivery dining only.
“It would be irresponsible to keep dining rooms open in light of the record-setting spike in COVID-19 cases we continue to see,” he said. “Unless we do what is necessary, restaurants will be stuck in an opening and closing cycle that benefits no one.”
Abbott reduced restaurant operations to 50% and closed all bars a week ago. He has now also issued a statewide mask order for all counties with more than 20 COVID-19 cases and limited public gatherings to no more than 10 people unless granted approval for more by local authorities.