Judge Gossom to approve opening of small bars in Wichita County

Local News

WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said in a press release Tuesday morning he will be approving the opening of “small bars” in Wichita County as of noon on Thursday, March 4.

Bars will be expected to reopen under guidelines listed in Gov. Abbott’s GA-32, which set guidelines for the reopening of bars in October 2020.

Among these guidelines are an occupancy restriction of 50%, a cutoff time to serve alcohol at 11:00 p.m., social distancing and face coverings.

A full list of guidelines can be found on the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission website.

In a press release, Gossom said the responsibility of opening small bars was delegated to county judges when Gov. Abbott issued GA-32 in October 2020.

Gossom said at the time GA-32 was announced, he did not feel that opening bars in Wichita County was a prudent idea, given the COVID-19 situation in the county in October.

That COVID-19 situation would continue to worsen in Wichita County, culminating in the form of a months-long spike from October 2020 until February 2021.

During the peak of the spike in Wichita County, over 1,000 new cases were being reported each week, with a positivity rate well into the 20’s.

Wichita County’s COVID-19 numbers have been on a significantly improved trajectory, with the lowest daily case numbers since summer, an improved positivity rate, and declining hospitalizations.

Gossom said after conferring with the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District and county mayors and city managers, he made the decision to approve the opening of small bars as of noon on Thursday, March 4.

This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage as we work to gather more information.

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