December 5, 2022

Montgomery County judge says Abbott’s plan for bars not good enough

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough was pleased Gov. Greg Abbott’s new order for the state regarding COVID-19 will allow bars to reopen Oct. 14 at 50 percent but says it falls short in helping many business owners.

“Kudos to the governor, thank you for finally doing something,” he said. “The problem is it is too little too late. These bars are out of business. I’m in for 100 percent.”

Late Wednesday, Abbott released GA-32, allowing county judges to “opt in” to open bars and “similar establishments” to reopen at 50 percent and all other business other than bars to open 75 percent. The order does place restriction on bar operations including when customers are walking around, they much wear masks and can only remove them when they are drinking at tables with less than six people.

While Harris County Judge Linda Hildalgo took to Twitter after Abbott’s release of GA-32 and tweeted “indoor, maskless gatherings should not be taking place right now and this applies to bars as well,” Keough is opting in.

In a video statement released by his office, Abbott stated Texans have shown they can contain the spread of the virus and thanked residents for following best health practices. He noted, however, the virus is still a threat and many are susceptible to getting COVID-19.

“As bars and similar businesses begin to open, we all must remain vigilant and show personal responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” Abbott added.

But according to Keough, who has been vocal about his opposition to Abbott’s plan to reopen the state following a month long shut down in April, Montgomery County has continued to have a low hospital rate, number of deaths and a 99 percent recovery rate.

According to the Montgomery County Hospital District, the county’s total cases increased Thursday by 167 to 12,022. Of those, 1,738 are currently active. Health officials confirmed a Magnolia man in his 60s is the county’s 142nd death Thursday. He was hospitalized at the time of his death and had other health conditions in addition to testing positive for the virus.

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