Bell County Judge, David Blackburn says he will shut down bars if capacity limits aren't being followed properly.

This should be taken as a warning to all bar owners who continue to operate their property over the 50% capacity limits that were issued by Gov. Greg Abbott via Executive Order in October. The Executive Order GA-32 issues operating guidelines for, among other things, restaurants and bars.

Bars, which were closed for so long at the beginning of the pandemic, were are able to open at 50% capacity as long as they are not in a high hospitalization area.

According to a report from KCEN, a high hospitalization rate would be defined as having seven consecutive days of COVID-19 patients at more that 15% of hospital capacity.  Currently, Bell County is just under 15%.

Judge Blackburn opted-in to the Executive Order allowing Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission,(TABC) to enforce the capacity limitations.

Bars in Bell County could be closed again if Bell County Judge David Blackburn chooses to opt-out of an executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott in October.

Judge Blackburn says, "What I will be doing over these next few weeks is monitoring that situation from a county perspective, I'll be reaching out to our local TABC investigator and if we see issues, concerns, such as you have identified, and we can verify those then there is the potential that I could revoke that opt-in order and the bars would be closed again."

Blackburn is asking for anyone who suspects the violations to report them to the TABC.

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