Originally published on June 9, 2020.
Restaurants, bars, and stores are open again. With the beginning of June, Texas entered the third phase to safely reopen the economy––effective immediately, all businesses in Texas can operate at up to 50% capacity with very limited exceptions. Business that previously have been able to operate at 100% capacity may continue to do so and most outdoor areas are not subject to capacity limits. All businesses and customers should continue to follow minimum standard health protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
Effective June 12, Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%. Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so. On June 19, amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.
All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standard health protocols from DSHS. For details and a full list of guidelines, openings, and relevant dates, visit http://open.texas.gov. Small business owners and their employees bore the economic brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic––I urge all able Texans to get out and support local businesses.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) continues to process unemployment applications to those out of work. For those still waiting on your application to be processed, please be patient as TWC handles the same quantity of applications it normally receives over years, not months. This pandemic has stretched TWC like never before and I am impressed with their ability to adapt and serve Texans. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you need assistance; we have been working nonstop to serve Senate District 19 constituents.
I stand with my fellow Americans when I say what happened to George Floyd was wrong. Our system of justice will prevail and hold those guilty of wrongdoing responsible. The rights we all have for peaceful protest is protected and promoted in this country under the First Amendment. I strongly support people acting lawfully to express themselves and I will continue to work hard to uphold our Constitution.
I strongly condemn those who unlawfully riot and attack innocent people, destroy businesses, and hurt our communities. They are to be held criminally responsible for their actions. The rule of law applies to us all. I thank all of our first responders and law enforcement officers for their continued service and dedication to serve each of us.
Congratulations to Senate District 19 2020 graduates––whether high school, trade school, or college, earning a diploma is no small task. I am always encouraged when I interact with new graduates. You are entering a world of wonderful opportunities; dare greatly and achieve your full potential.
No matter what happens in our state and country, Texans and Americans are strongest when we stand together. I find the hardworking people of Senate District 19 agree on much more than they disagree. Let’s find those areas of commonalties first––Texans are strong and we will get through this together.