County Judge Andy Eads on Oct. 9 filed the necessary paperwork to lift some of the heaviest restrictions on bar operations as allowed last week in Abbott’s executive order.
The order allows bars to reopen at up to 50% capacity in counties where hospitalization rates remain lower than 15% if the county judge approves. Denton County’s hospitalization rate is just under 7%, according to county spokesperson Dawn Cobb.
“I applaud the governor taking this much needed step to reopen Texas,” Eads said in a statement. “Denton County has continued to do a great job with our cases down compared to other urbanized areas in North Texas. We feel for the financial pain these businesses have gone through and we fully support their reopening.”
The number of cases confirmed in recent weeks in Denton County has been hovering roughly steady at lower levels than what the area saw in its worst stretch in June and July. That two-month period in the summer was when the highest number of residents who were later confirmed to have COVID-19 reported their first symptoms, according to the county's coronavirus case dashboard.
While the county did report a large sum of 1,200 new confirmed cases Oct. 6, the county's records show the cases in that batch of reports occurred in a spread-out manner over the previous weeks and months.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 14,000 people have been known to have fallen sick with COVID-19 in Denton County. At least 113 of those people are known to have died. Nearly 2,000 of those cases are active as of Oct. 13.