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Bell County Judge signs 'opt-in' with TABC to allow reopening of bars

Bell County Judge David Blackburn filed an opt-in request Monday with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to allow the reopening of bars and similar businesses.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

BELL COUNTY, Texas — Bell County Judge David Blackburn filed an opt-in request Monday with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to allow the reopening of bars and similar businesses in Bell County. This is in accordance with Governor Abbott's Executive Order GA-32.

Under Abbott's order, bars and similar businesses can reopen on October 14 if the County Juge files a request with the TABC.

Blackburn filed the request after consultations with the Bell County Public Health District and area health care providers.

"I wanted to hear from our local health authorities about our case counts and our Bell County hospital capacity before making a decision," Blackburn said. "After visiting with our health care providers in the area, I was reassured that our local hospital capacity is both stable and adequate at this time."

Balckburn said he recognizes that the current case numbers can change and said he will be in close contact with area providers to monitor the situation.

'I also had a conversation with TABC about enforcement and TABC advised they will be handling the enforcement of the governor's Orders relative to the bar reopenings," Blackburn said.

In addition to the approval from the county judge, bars must also follow the reopening restrictions in the governor's order and on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

"In accordance with the governor's order, I will be working closely with TABC to ensure compliance with the reopening restrictions," Blackburn said. "If I see hospital capacity issues or spikes in our numbers or non-compliance by the bars, then I may well revoke the reopening authorization and the bars will have to close again I really don't want that to happen."

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