Richard Fisher is a Barclays senior advisor, former Dallas Fed president and is currently a part of the Texas’ Advisory Council on reopening the state amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He joins “Squawk Box” to discuss the outbreak in Texas and the state’s decision to rollback its reopening amid a spike in cases.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that he will roll back some of the state’s reopening as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to rise.
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a press release. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.”
The order includes the following:
All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close at 12:00 p.m. Friday. These businesses may remain open for delivery and takeout, including for alcoholic beverages, as authorized by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday.
Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.
Abbott’s order comes only a day after he said he would place the state’s reopening plan on pause. On Thursday, he ordered all licensed hospitals in four counties that include the state’s largest cities — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin — to postpone elective procedures in order to protect hospital capacity for Covid-19 patients.
“The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses,” Abbott said in a release Thursday.
Texas reported a 79% increase in its weekly average of coronavirus cases on Thursday, averaging 4,757 daily new cases, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
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