By Hill Country Community Journal Staff & NEWS4SA, October 14, 2020
Texas Governor Greg Abbott had issued an executive order a week ago on Oct. 7 that paved the way for bars and similar establishments throughout the state in low hospitalization areas to be opened to 50 percent capacity starting Oct. 14 at the discretionary authority of county officials.
“I have submitted to reopen October 14. Waiting on reply from TABC,” Bandera County Judge Richard Evans stated on Tuesday.
Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly decided to submit the opt-in application for the bars to reopen as well, but only after consulting with all the local stakeholders that have helped guide major decisions throughout the COVID-19 crisis, among them the leadership at the City of Kerrville, Peterson Regional Medical Center, Kerrville and Ingram ISDs, Kerrville and Kerr County Emergency Management, and others.
“All local stakeholders in this public health situation were consulted about the reopening of the bars,” Kelly said. “All who responded to me were in agreement that this is something we should do for our community. After all, these are legitimate businesses that had been completely shut down for months and many of which are on the verge of going under. According to Texas Division of Emergency Management, all of the stakeholders in the county have managed this Covid-19 crisis extremely well, especially considering our demographics.”
As for Bexar County, Judge Nelson Wolff said Tuesday he’s still waiting on a report with recommendations from Metro Health, as well as a list of bars that remain closed. He expects to receive it by Wednesday in time to make a decision, but he added he hasn’t received any emails from bar owners urging him to make a decision since so many of them have already reclassified as restaurants, he reasoned.
“I’d say the vast majority of bars – 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent – are already open with them offering food,” Wolff said. “They can offer inside and have a food truck there.”
“I filed the form with TABC last Friday to allow bars to open, but I have not heard back,” Kendall County Judge Darrel Lux wrote for NEWS4SA.
Other counties that are reopening include Guadalape and Medina. It is confirmed that Hennigan County will not reopen, and it is unknown whether or not Atascosa County and Wilson County will reopen.
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