Although Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Wednesday opening bars and similar establishments at up to 50% capacity at the discretion of county officials on Oct. 14, it’s not yet clear whether the booze will start flowing in Hidalgo County bars next week.
A news release from the governor’s office says county judges in regions with low COVID-19 hospitalizations will be able to opt into opening bars at half capacity next Wednesday provided they assist in enforcing health protocols.
The release also says that all counties where COVID-19 hospitalizations are less than 15% of hospital capacity can open all businesses other than bars at 75% capacity.
“Even as more businesses have opened and students return to school, Texans have shown we can contain the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott wrote in the release. “Thanks to Texans following the best health practices, our state is prepared for additional openings, including bars. Working with industry leaders and our team of medical experts, the State of Texas has now developed strategies to safely open bars under certain health protocols. To ensure bars open safely, these openings will be done in conjunction with county officials.”
The state announced just yesterday that Hidalgo County is no longer considered a high hospitalization area, but the pandemic is continuing to take the lives of Rio Grande Valley residents daily.