Texas Gov. Abbott lets water parks, mall food courts reopen in limited capacities after coronavirus closures

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Texas will this week reopen water parks, mall food courts and driver education programs, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday, as the state slowly eases restrictions in an attempt to resume daily life after coronavirus closures.

Water parks can open with a 25 percent occupancy starting Friday while recreational sports programs for adults can resume Sunday -- but games won't be allowed to resume until June 15. Driver educational programs can begin immediately, Abbott's office said.

Shopping mall food courts can also resume operations immediately but malls should limit tables to six people and ensure no items, including condiments, are left on tables. Shopping centers are also encouraged to clean and disinfect tables each time after being used.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Abbott announced Texas had the fewest coronavirus-related deaths since March and the lowest number of hospitalizations since April.

“Today Texas had the fewest #COVID19 fatalities since the end of March,” he tweeted late Monday evening. “We also had the fewest COVID hospitalizations since the middle of April. And, we have the 2nd most recoveries from COVID in America.”

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Last week, Abbott gave permission to lift lockdown orders on a number of industries, including bars, zoos, restaurants and child daycare centers, with social distancing measures in place.

Texas recorded 56,560 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, including 1,536 deaths, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.