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Mayor Gunter: We support businesses’ rights to open

Brian Groves

Public Information Officer

Governor Abbott announced Wednesday that bars will be able to open at 50% capacity beginning on Wednesday, October 14.

I believe it was time for the state to allow greater occupancy levels and to allow the rest of the bars, music venues, wine tasting and distilleries to open. This city is comprised of many small businesses that are our economic backbone. When they were shut down, the whole city felt the impact. As difficult as it was, we all had to follow both the state and CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. I believe that we have been doing a great job in doing that – our positivity rate and case numbers are proof.

COVID-19 is still here but if we continue to follow the guidelines then we will get through this. Another shutdown would be devastating. We do not want to see any business or any families further harmed as a result of this pandemic.

State Representative Drew Darby and I have been pushing for the governor to allow more businesses to safely open. As your mayor, I fully support every single business’s right to operate and serve our community. COVID-19 has hurt us, but we will not let it destroy us.

Tom Green County’s current COVID-19 hospitalizations are less than 15% of the local hospitals’ capacities. Under Governor Abbott’s order, the county judge may authorize the opening of bars and similar establishments at 50% occupancy, provided certain protocols are followed.

“We will certainly take advantage of the governor’s orders to allow bars and other businesses to reopen,” Judge Steve Floyd said. “Thanks to the great folks of Tom Green County and the City of San Angelo for helping us tame this virus and provide relief for ALL small business owners. We are waiting to receive the official certification from TABC to be allowed to open. It is expected as we do qualify.”

As recommended by trade associations representing bars, dance floors at bars and similar establishments must remain closed. Consistent with protocols for restaurants, all patrons must be seated while eating or drinking (with limited exceptions for sampling at breweries, distilleries and wineries) and must wear masks when they are not seated at a table. Additionally, tables must be limited to six individuals or less and all establishments must follow specific curfew guidelines. Also beginning Wednesday, October 14, all businesses other than bars can open to 75% capacity.

For questions about the governor's updated orders, visit

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