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Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll announce more business openings soon — does his ‘Cheers!’ GIF mean bars are next?

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a tweet on Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said due to “contained” positivity rates of COVID-19, he’ll announce more business openings soon.

Abbott writes: “Texans have continued to keep COVID under control. The hospitalizations, number of new positive cases, and positivity rate remain contained. Today was one of the lowest for fatalities in a long time. I will be announcing more openings soon. Cheers!”

Over the summer, Abbott withheld expanding openings for bars, saying they are “nationally recognized” as COVID-19 spreading locations.

The Governor originally closed bars back in March. He later allowed bars to re-open in May at limited capacity before the state saw a surge in June — prompting him to close all bars at noon that same day.

Since the June announcement, businesses that identify only as bars (they do not serve food and/or the majority of their revenue does not come from food) have remained closed. Despite more flexible rules from the TABC on to-go alcohol sales, the ongoing closure has been a point of frustration for Texas bar owners.

As of Monday, Oct. 5, Texas has surpassed 16,000 COVID-19-related deaths — an average of about 72 per day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been a total of 765,894 total cases in Texas as of Monday.

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