Smith County to ‘opt in’ on opening bars

Smith County to ‘opt in’ on opening bars
Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran speaks during the commissioners court meeting Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

From Smith County

TYLER, Texas - On Wednesday, October 7, Governor Gregg Abbott issued his most recent Executive Order, GA-32, which provided authority to individual County Judges to open up bars to 50 percent capacity in counties that have 15 percent or less capacity of COVID-19 cases in local hospitals. Smith County falls within this qualifying category.

Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran said Thursday that he will unquestionably “opt in” so that local bars can reopen to the fullest extent permitted under the Governor’s GA-32 Order, which is set to become effective as of 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, October 14.

Upon seeing the Governor’s Order, Judge Moran welcomed the ability to exercise some local authority over the Coronavirus response, noting that since April 30, all control over the pandemic response and related restrictions have emanated from the Governor’s office in Austin.

“I am thankful for this opportunity to exercise local discretion to provide a pathway for our bars to get back to business as quickly as possible and to the fullest extent possible. I am hopeful that more local discretion is provided in the future, so we can forge our own pathway forward here in Smith County.”