Bars in Dallas County are still on hold, but the party is about to get started in our neighboring county to the north: Collin County Judge Chris Hill plans to file the necessary paperwork to reopen bars in Collin County, following the official permission to reopen bars granted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Abbott's order, which he revealed on October 7, allows bars to reopen in most parts of the state to reopen as of October 14, at 50 percent capacity. However, he left it to county judges to make the final call on whether to open bars in their county.
Hill is giving the thumbs up.
"With the encouragement and recommendation of the doctors and scientists from Collin County Health Care Services, I will be filing the necessary paperwork with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to allow Collin County bars to reopen next week," Hill says in a statement.
This will impact cities such as Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, and Murphy.
Gov. Abbott's most recent executive order (GA-32) allows bars across Texas to reopen at 50 percent of capacity, as long as the county's hospitalization rate remains under 15 percent and the county judge consents.
"Our Collin County hospitals and healthcare professionals continue to serve our community with excellence," Judge Hill says. "At no time this year has our hospital capacity been overwhelmed or threatened by COVID-19. Quite simply, Collin County should be completely open. I will listen to everyone, but will follow the science."
According to daily hospitalization figures since March 21, COVID-19 patients in Collin County have occupied 3.05 percent, on average, of the county’s 2,702 available general and intensive care beds. As of Wednesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported 103 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across Collin County.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he will not be filing to reopen bars until Dallas County gets out of the "moderate risk" category, aka the orange zone, for COVID-19 transmission.