AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Austin is joining other major Texas cities in closing bars and restaurant dining rooms to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Mark Escott, director of Austin-Travis County Health Authority, also announced that public gatherings in the Texas capital are now limited to 10 people.

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That’s more restrictive than similar measures taken in Dallas, where officials have ordered that public gatherings not exceed 50 people.

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Gov. Greg Abbott also says he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Texas’ first death related to COVID-19, the disease caused by new coronavirus. Officials say the man was in his late 90s.

Abbott also activated the Texas National Guard on Tuesday so that they can assist with response efforts for COVID-19.

“By activating the Texas National Guard, we are ensuring Texas is prepared as we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “I am grateful to the men and women of the National Guard for their dedication to serving their fellow Texans, and want to assure the public that this is a precautionary measure to make sure the Texas National Guard has the capability to serve at a moment’s notice where they are needed most.”

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