City of Amarillo holds news conference following Gov. Abbott executive orders

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —Today, the City of Amarillo held a special briefing to discuss Governor Greg Abbott’s new executive order to reopen the State of Texas.

Governor Abbott signed Executive Order GA-30 Friday and there will be new changes that citizens in Amarillo will be seeing.

Certain businesses will now be able to operate at 75% capacity instead of 50% capacity such as retail stores, restaurants, gyms, and office buildings.

This move can be done as long as the hospitalization rate is low, Amarillo’s falls under that category at a 10.1% hospitalization rate.

“Over 15 percent, will move us into a high hospitalization area categorization, then to move out of that we have to have seven consecutive days by that same metric below 15 percent to be able to increase our occupancy to reincrease the occupancy at restaurants and other businesses like that,” said Jared Miller, Amarillo city manager

Certain establishments, like barber shops and massage parlors, can operate at 100% capacity but have to maintain social distancing.

“There is no occupancy limit as long as they are, they can go up to 100% of the occupancy of their permit with the city. So when I say no occupancy limit, that means 100%, but that means maintaining social distancing at work stations and be at least six feet apart,” said Miller.

With these coming changes, also comes certain businesses remaining closed.

“Bars are still not allowed to open, however per the TABC guidelines that recently came out, we are allowing, they are allowing bars to temporally be permitted as restaurants,” said Miller.

Those Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission guidelines are if a bar can switch to operating as a restaurant if their food sales can reach more than 51 percent of their total sales.

Dr. Scott Milton, Amarillo Health Authority reiterated that it is important to wear a mask and to social distance to not stress our hospitalization more than we have to, especially since active cases have increased since school has restarted.

To watch the recap of the brief, click below:

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