Nightlife returns with distancing restrictions

Walker County Judge Danny Pierce officially accepted orders from Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday afternoon, nearly 48 hours after the region exceeded the governor’s threshold for COVID-19 hospitalizations.

More than 15% of hospital beds in the Southeast Texas Trauma Service Area were filled with confirmed coronavirus patients on Jan. 4, the seventh consecutive day the region was over that mark, according to the state's COVID-19 hospitalization dashboard.

This triggers automatic business-capacity reductions and bar closures across the Houston metropolitan area in accordance with an October executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott.

Businesses that have been operating at 75% capacity—such as restaurants, retailers, gyms and office buildings—will have to ramp back down to half of normal capacity, the order states. Bars that have not reclassified as restaurants will also be forced to close and hospitals will be barred from conducting elective surgeries.

SEE THE ORDER FROM JUDGE DANNY PIERCE BELOW. 

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