Runnels County judge Barry Hilliard has posted a letter to the county residents informing them that retailers in the county will continue to be restricted to 25% of capacity. Texas governor Greg Abbott issued an order stating that retailers could open at 50% capacity, but that the final decision is up to the county judges in each respective county.

Hillard’s letter says that he has been in consultation with Dr. Bradly Bundrant at Ballinger Memorial Hospital. Bundrant is also the County Health Agent. In his letter, Hilliard explains the reasoning behind continuing to keep retailers at 25%:

Covid-19. What a nightmare this is. We are all a part of history as this continues to unravel. So far (as of) April 30th our county has had only two positive cases. Both are fully recovered. But, their family members are awaiting test results. I along with Dr. Bundrant anticipate more positives to emerge. Stay tuned. In regards to our counties situation the courthouse doors remain locked to the public except by appointment. They are also encouraged to conduct business by email when possible. As of 12:01 AM, May 1, the governor is allowing by order, certain retail businesses to open at a rate of 25%. In certain instances in which many standards must be met, the county judge may by attestation to the governor’s office, permit those businesses to open at 50%.

At writing I am in consultation with Dr. Bradley Bundrant, our appointed health authority, in determining if that attestation is warranted. For the time being he and I agree Runnels County does not. We are very aware the general public is ready for our situation to improve to the point we can once more continue as before. No-one more than me. My fellow county judges and I share the fear that by opening up prematurely we could revert back to more restrictive measures undoing the very unselfish acts by our communities in getting to this point.

One other point to make; one of my fellow county judges tested positive and is home quarantined. He says he is not sick but you all should know his county went from one case to, at last count, 16 in one day. I hope you all understand now my hesitancy in submitting the attestation.