HOUSTON - While Governor Greg Abbott announced more federal help today to help curb the COVID-19 outbreak in Texas and prevent another shutdown, some bar owners rallied for him to reopen their businesses.
The rally comes as Texas marked more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases Sunday and more than 10,000 Saturday.
However, bar owners across the state like Helen Bergeron, who co-owns Chuters Bar in Pasadena, says she and her employees need get to back to work.
"We’re here to let Governor Abbott know that we need to come back to work. All these people’s lives are on the line. We need to work, we need to pay our bills," Bergeron said.
"We feel like we’re being discriminated because when Governor Abbott announced the second round, the bars were all he shut down. He did not shut down the restaurants," said James Kopeck, co-owner of Chuters Bar.
"We are going to protest. We are going to sue. We are going to demand the Governor open up these bars," said Wayne Dolcefino, who organized the rally.
Abbott issued the executive order for bars to shut down roughly two weeks ago, as Texas began seeing record-high cases and hospitalizations in the last few weeks.
"If COVID-19 continues to increase and hospitalizations continue to increase and deaths continue to increase, it will force us to lead to the ultimate solution that I do not want to do and that would be to close Texas back down," Abbott said during an interview with FOX 26 Friday.
In an effort to curb the spread of the virus while keeping most of Texas open, Governor Abbott issued a statewide mask order.
On Sunday, he announced additional federal resources for extended testing and military help at the hospitals starting this week. The extra resources include a Disaster Medical Assistance Team deployed from US Health and Human Services as well as an Urban Area Medical Task Force from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Community-based testing sites in Dallas and Houston will also have continued federal support through the end of the month.
However, local officials are urging him to issue an even more drastic order.
"I'm asking the community not to make the same mistake twice. Right now, let’s work together, stay home to flatten those hospitalizations, they continue to grow. But once we get there let’s not give up early again. We’ve got to fight for that curve to come down so that we can be successful over the long haul," said Hidalgo in a video posted to her Twitter.