Stopping the spread

White House recommends more restaurant and bar restrictions for at-risk Texas counties

White House recommends more restaurant and bar restrictions for Texas

Group of friends grilling
A White House memo suggests asking college students to limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people. iStock

KVUE — In a White House briefing from September 6, recommendations for the State of Texas include additional reduced hours and occupancy limits in bars and restaurants in counties with universities.

ABC obtained the White House Coronavirus Task Force governors briefing from September 6, providing an insider's perspective for COVID-19-related recommendations for the State of Texas. 

WFAA reporter William Joy tweeted a photo of the recommendations on September 9.

Among the recommendations stated in the report were, but not limited to:

  • Consider a further reduction in hours and occupancy limits in bars and restaurants in university counties
  • Ensure there are quick turnaround times for results and rapid isolation of cases and quarantine of contacts. Residential cases and contacts should not be sent home to isolate or quarantine
  • Increase testing capacity by increasing the budget and capacity of public health labs through: first, ensuring hospitals move elective surgeries and admissions testing to pooling in order to reserve tests for community outreach, and second, utilizing all university, veterinary, and research platform for surveillance and testing of students
  • Recruit college and university students to expand public health messaging and contact tracing capacity
  • Ask citizens and students to limit all social gatherings to 10 or fewer people

Austin Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott told KVUE Wednesday he agrees with this recommendation and said he hopes bars will stay closed. He said, luckily, college-aged students don't have a high rate of death, but they do spread COVID-19. He added, "we have to react if that's the circumstance we experience."

---

To read the full story, head to KVUE.