Thousands expected at Texas 'Go Topless' Jeep festival, making social distancing tough, officials say

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Galveston County officials in Texas expect thousands of people to descend on Crystal Beach for this year's "Go Topless" Jeep weekend event, which could complicate coronavirus social distancing measures.

Authorities are planning for a similar-sized crowd compared to the one that gathered in 2019, KHOU 11 reported. The event will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Sheriff’s deputies are expected to work overtime and will reportedly be assisted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to County Sheriff Henry Trochesset. Thirty state troopers will also be made available for the event.

Trochesset said that, with the way things went last year, it will be extremely difficult to police the beach to make sure people are applying strict sanitary standards across the board.

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“Last year was an overwhelming event,” he told KHOU. “I think it’s going to be almost impossible [to enforce social distancing] depending on the volume of individuals that come down."

In 2019, there were more than 100 arrests and six people were flown off the peninsula to hospitals for medical care, KHOU reported.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is set to announce another set of reopening plans on Monday, after allowing the partial reopening of a number of businesses across the state over the last two weeks, including restaurants, retail stores and hair salons.

Abbott originally said bars would get the green light to open by mid-May, but he has since put a pause on setting an exact date. He said the state government still needs more information from experts about when they can safely proceed.

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As of Friday afternoon, there were more than 1.4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. and over 87,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Fox News' Julia Musto contributed to this report.