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Nearly three months after an executive order by Governor Greg Abbott to reopen businesses in Texas, an uptick in positive coronavirus cases has prompted local governments to close bars and reduce restaurant capacity to fifty percent.
According to Executive Order GA-32, which became effective on October 14, areas with high hospitalization rates that have had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, must enact emergency orders limiting business operations.
The order will stand “until such time as the trauma service area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total capacity is 15 percent or less.”
Frio Regional Hospital CEO John Hughson confirmed this week that there are eight patients hospitalized in Pearsall who are positive for COVID-19.
According to data filed at the COVID-19 Lifeline, Frio County has 252 confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus this week.
On Monday, December 28, Frio County Judge Arnulfo Luna ordered that all bars and similar establishments immediately close until further notice.
“Due to Order GA-32 and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules and regulations, bars and other similar establishments in Frio County must now close and cease operation until further notice,” the order reads.
The county judge has the option to reverse the order when the county has fewer than 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period and the judge attests to the county meeting other vital criteria that would allow shuttered businesses to reopen.