Bars in Dallas County will remain closed despite a recent statewide executive order allowing them to reopen at 50% capacity Oct. 14. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Oct. 7 that counties could opt into a reopening program provided they enforce health protocols. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins followed up with a tweet stating that the local transmission level is still too high to justify making this move.
Regarding opening bars in Dallas County: I will not file to open them at this time. Below is the current guidance from the Public Health Committee and @DCHHS. We are in orange but our numbers are increasing (BadI) I will listen to everyone but will follow the science. pic.twitter.com/wvak33TnZw
— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) October 7, 2020
Neighboring counties are handling the order differently. Judge Chris Hill of Collin County will reopen bars at half capacity, while Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said he is still weighing the option.
One bar owner responded to Jenkins' tweet by pleading with the judge to reconsider. A spokesperson with Dallas County confirmed Oct. 9 that the judge's decision has not changed since his tweet was originally published.
@JudgeClayJ I am a Dallas bar owner. This is destroying us. Please let people be responsible for themselves. We aren’t getting any help while being the only business not permitted to open. You will be responsible for closing us permanently
— Caitlyn Pepe (@Teampepe77) October 7, 2020
Other commenters thanked the judge for his steadfast commitment to stemming spread of the disease.
Thank you Judge Jenkins. I know you’re going to take a great deal of flack and hate for this, but you’re also going to be saving lives.
— IndigoPatricia (@IndigoRoad102) October 7, 202
The county’s public health committee and health and human services department have rated the community risk for COVID-19 transmission as moderate. On Oct. 8, the county reported 198 additional cases of COVID-19 as well as 40 probable cases. Over the past seven days, there have been 2,525 additional cases reported.
“Our numbers in recent weeks have gone in the wrong direction, and it’s up to all of us to reverse that trend so that more people will stay safe, more businesses will thrive, and more children will be able to experience in–person classes,” Jenkins said in an Oct. 8 release.
For more information on COVID-19 in Dallas County, visit this link.