EL PASO, Texas -- As El Paso County saw its largest coronavirus spike of pandemic with 546 new cases, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego on Saturday reaffirmed that he won't be allow local bars to reopen as they may soon do in other parts of Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is allowing bars to reopen at 50% capacity next week — as long as their county governments choose to allow it. But Samaniego made clear in a social media post Saturday that El Paso County would not be allowing it.
Samaniego cited not only a significant rise in spread among those ages 20 to 39, the age bracket that makes up a large amount of potential bar patrons, but also a current 16% hospitalization total attributed to Covid-19 as the key reasons for his decision.
After consulting with City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza about the upward Covid trends, the judge proclaimed "bars will remain closed in El Paso."
While saying he was "very sympathetic to all of our business owners during these unprecedented times," Samaniego added that "the health and safety of our community must prevail."