Austin on Tuesday joined other major Texas cities in closing bars and restaurant dining rooms to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has now resulted in the state's first death.
Dr. Mark Escott, director of Austin-Travis County Health Authority, also announced that pubic gatherings in the Texas capital are now limited to 10 people, following recommendations released a day earlier by the Trump administration.
That's more restrictive than similar measures taken in Dallas, which on Monday ordered that public gatherings should not exceed 50 people. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Tuesday urged Gov. Greg Abbott to take those restrictions, and that of closing bars and restaurants, statewide.
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Houston has also enacted restrictions on bars, clubs and restaurants in hopes of keeping people home.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.