After seven consecutive days of COVID-19 hospitalizations exceeding 15%, Nine counties in the Houston area will have to close their bars and businesses will have to roll back capacity.
This is in compliance with Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, in which bars may not remain open during this time as well as other businesses requiring a scale back from 75% occupancy to 50%.
But some business owners will not be shutting down their establishments without a fight. The owner of a Stafford bar explained why she will not be closing her doors.
“I will not shut down again, I did it once for seven months and one week.” said the owner of the Stafford Ice House.
“If I were to shut down, we would not exist because the bills don’t stop and you don’t have revenue coming in.”
The owner explained the impacts caused by the last time they shut down and the toll it took on her employees.
“I had bartender because of the stress have three strokes, they’ve been evicted from their homes that they were living in and it’s devastating,” said the owner.
A frequent customer at this bar expressed how he feels about mandatory shut downs.
“I think all businesses should be open, I don’t think any person should be able to close somebody’s business,” the customer said.
“Keep the bars open, these people are losing money.”
On the other hand, some bars have been able to avoid this closure after reclassifying their business as a restaurant.
For the newly transformed restaurants, this means that they have to earn less than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages.
In addition to that customers have to eat or drink only while seated to offer dine-in services.
These restrictions will be lifted once COVID-19 hospitalization does not surpass 15% within a seven day period.
Produced by Shivani Parmar