Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe decided against opting in on Governor Abbott’s order that allows bars to reopen today.
Due to Biscoe’s silence on the issue durring the commissioners court meeting yesterday, it was already widely speculated he would keep them closed, and as of today he has made that decision official.
Biscoe says COVID-19 numbers are still too high to risk allowing bars to unlock their doors. Travis COunty Commissioner Gerald Daugherty says Judge Biscoe is far less concerned with public opinion than he is in the County Health Authority’s data. “He and I talked last week and I said, ‘Judge these people are hurting man…These businesses are trying everything in their power to stay alive.'” But that was not enough to sway the judge.
Austin Travis County Area Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott is pleased with the judges decision as he recommended against bars reopening before and after Gov. Abbott gave County Judges the final say on reopening bars. Dr. Escott says He says the number of hospital beds and ICUs being used by Covid patients doesn’t bode well for the future,
“and given that we’ve just opened up schools in Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD, now’s not the time to take substantial risks.”
While many wonder when Travis County bars will be allowed to reopen, Dr.Escott says they will revisit the issue in two weeks.