Cameron County undecided in whether to opt in to Governor’s bar reopening order

By Gaige Davila

If you asked Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. today whether he would allow bars to reopen, he would likely say no.

Trevino said so during a press conference on Friday, two days after Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to reopen bars across the state on Oct. 14 at 50% capacity. County judges, however, must decide whether to reopen the bars, according to the executive order. 

“All I see is risk associated with the continued spread of the virus if we open the bars at this point,” Treviño said. “If I had to make the decision today, my decision would be no, but we’re reviewing it.”

Treviño explained he was concerned that once people began drinking inside the bar that personal COVID-19 safeguards would be relaxed and ultimately not used.

Cameron County restaurants, however, will be allowed to open at 75% capacity, as directed in Abbott’s executive order.

Abbott issued the order, GA-32, this past Wednesday, citing decreasing COVID-19 hospitalizations and positive cases across the state. Abbott excluded areas with over 15% COVID-19 patients in their hospitals.

Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo said, as of today, over 15% of Cameron County hospitals’ patients are sick with COVID-19, with daily hospitalizations and people still being put on ventilators. Daily COVID-19 case confirmations, however, have dropped, averaging to 37 positive case confirmations a day, Castillo said. But the virus is still a risk to Cameron County.

“We’ve reached this plateau, this steady state,” Castillo said during the press conference. “The virus is not gone, and if we lapse our precautions at this point you can expect the virus to spring back.”

Esmeralda Guajardo, health administrator for Cameron County Public Health, at the same press conference, said Cameron County has received a “data dump” from the state of previously unreported cases and deaths. The county will report 111 cases in the coming days, but they are from months prior.

As of today, Cameron County has 23,174 cases of COVID-19, with 20,647 recovering from the disease. One thousand forty-seven Cameron County residents have died.

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