Bexar County currently not ‘opting in’ to reopening bars on Oct. 14

BEXAR COUNTY, Tex. (KTSA News) — Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said Wednesday that at the current moment, Bexar County will not permit bars to reopen on October 14th.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order Wednesday allowing counties to allow bars to reopen at 50 percent capacity.

“At this point, I’m not opting in,” the county judge said Wednesday afternoon. “But I am going to try to give a fair hearing on it and it’s going to be help for [San Antonio] Metro Health because I want to rely on them first.”

Wolff said more research needs to be done by the city-county health officials to get a better idea on exactly what impact reopening bars would mean for the county.

The county judge is directing Metro Health to look into how many bars would be affected by the move.  Wolff said many bars are operating now as restaurants and may make opting in easier than initially expected.

Wolff said there is a chance the county may opt-in on October 14th once more information is made available by Metro Health.

“Once I get that, then I’ll certainly be consulting with the mayor and then make a decision,” Wolff said.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg supported the county judge’s plan.

“I think that’s a sound way of going about things,” Nirenberg stated when asked by reporters at the city-county coronavirus briefing Wednesday. “What you’re hearing up here is not a flat ‘no’, it’s that we’re going to go through a process and make sure we are opening in a safe manner.”

“We want to be deliberate and thoughtful and we want to have guidance from the public health professionals,” the mayor also said at the daily event.  “It may not be the way all state and federal politicians do it, but it’s the way we’ve handled it here and I think we’ve saved lives doing it that way.”

A reporter asked the county judge how he felt about the governor passing the decision power down to his level of government.

“I’m happy to tell you the truth,” Wolff responded with a chuckle.  “We’d probably have been better of had he done that on a lot of things, particularly when he took away the mask mandate on May the 3rd or May the 5th.”

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