Texas governor allowing restaurants to sell bulk retail items amid coronavirus pandemic

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Forget Costco — Texas residents can now go shopping for big-box items at their neighborhood restaurants.

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to allow restaurants to sell their bulk food items and dry goods directly to consumers, on order “to provide Texans another source of food outside of grocery stores and prepared food from restaurants.”

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The new guidance comes nearly a week Gov. Abbott ordered residents to stop eating at bars, restaurants and food courts (as of March 20) as part of several executive orders designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Delivery, drive-thru and takeout options are still available.

Texas Gov.Greg Abbott, seen here during a press conference earlier in March, has directed the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to allow restaurants to sell their bulk food items and dry goods directly to consumers.

Texas Gov.Greg Abbott, seen here during a press conference earlier in March, has directed the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to allow restaurants to sell their bulk food items and dry goods directly to consumers. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“A vital part of our COVID-19 response is to ensure that there are readily available supplies of food and resources, whether that is at grocery stores or, in this case, restaurants,” said Gov. Abbott, per a news release issued Tuesday. “This guidance gives Texans another easily accessible option to buy the food they need to support their families.

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Abbott added that Texas will “continue to work with distributors, retailers, and restaurants” to help maintain the supply chain and ensure continued provisions for residents.

“I thank Rep. Tan Parker, the Texas Restaurant Association, and the Department of State Health Services for their collaboration to take this important step to help Texas families as our state responds to COVID-19," he said.

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As of Tuesday evening, Texas had over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and reported more than a dozen deaths.