coronavirus pandemic

Wise County May Be Able to Reopen at 50% Capacity Limit, Judge Says

wise county courthouse

There’s at least one North Texas county which may be able to reopen with higher capacity limits on Friday.

Wise County judge J.D. Clark told NBC 5, he filed required attestation and supporting documentation on Thursday morning with the Texas Department of State Health Services in order for businesses to operate at 50% capacity.

As of Thursday morning, Judge Clark said the county has five active cases of COVID-19, which is the maximum allowed under Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest executive orders allowing non-essential businesses to operate at up to 50% capacity.

Counties with more than five cases may reopen businesses like malls, movie theaters, restaurants and retail stores at 25% capacity starting Friday, Gov. Abbott announced earlier this week.

Judge Clark said the county had a cumulative of 17 cases at one point. "Two patients have died, five remain in isolation, and the rest have recovered," Clark said.

Ultimately, the decision to reopen certain businesses are with owners. The newest orders give them the option to do so, though it does not require reopening.

“There will be some that want to ease in at a lower capacity than what they can and some may not be ready to open at all, and that’s just going to be a business by business decision based on what they think is right for their employees and customers,” Clark said.

As of early Thursday afternoon, the county was still waiting on final approval to begin operating at 50% capacity starting Friday.

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