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Comal County opts in to reopen bars

Bars allowed to reopen at 50% capacity in Texas Oct. 14 if county judges approve

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NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Happy Hour is coming back to Comal County.

Comal County Judge Sherman Krause has decided to opt in to allow bars in the county to reopen, a news release said Monday.

County officials submitted paperwork on Thursday to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, one day after Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order allowing bars and similar establishments to open at 50% capacity in regions with low COVID-19 hospitalizations. County judges must approve the decision to reopen bars.

“Many businesses in our community have been struggling because of the pandemic, but we have an opportunity to re-open in a way that keeps customers and employees safe,” said Krause, a Republican, in a news release. “COVID-19 is still a threat to our community, but this is a small step we can take towards getting back to normal. Business owners need to take this health threat seriously, but we can still provide a safe environment while open for business. It’s up to us to do it right.”

Comal is among a handful of counties to opt in. According to a Texas Tribune article on Thursday, Denton County was only among one of the state’s most populous counties to allow for the reopening of bars.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, a Democrat, announced the county will not opt in for now.

Comal County officials consulted with health officials, mayors, TABC and law enforcement to develop a strategy to reopen bars and similar establishments. The strategy included the development of an Open Safe Plan that bar owners are asked to complete and submit to the county for approval.

Bar owners must follow health and safety measures, including social distancing, sanitation and hygiene practices under the plan. Once a bar gets authorization from county judges, it can open for business on Oct. 14.

Comal County Fire Fire Marshal Kory Klabunde will lead a team of compliance officers tasked with visiting local bars to communicate minimum health protocols developed by the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas, including not serving alcohol after 11:00 p.m.

The Comal County Sheriff’s Office COVID-19 Task Force will also assist.

Comal County’s Open Safe Plan can be viewed below:


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