Montgomery Co. hair salons, gyms, bars can open Friday because Gov. Abbott's order is "vague", says judge

UPDATE: Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he will issue a clarification.

See original report below:

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough is calling out Gov. Greg Abbott's new executive order for being vague, and in turn, is going to allow Phase 2 businesses to open.

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Judge Keough pointed out that the Essential Services Order for Texas expires on April 30, and according to the new order, there's nothing about the businesses that would open in Phase 2 if there's no flare-up of COVID-19 cases.

"As I looked at [Gov. Abbott's] order and as I looked at his opening statements, I found some things that to me are very important to you to understand," Judge Keogh said in a Facebook video posted Tuesday afternoon. "The businesses that he said would be closed are not in his orders as closed."

The businesses Keough is referring to are gyms, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, and bars. 

As part of Phase 1, the executive order states on Friday, May 1, movie theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, museums and libraries may re-open at 25% capacity. Places of worship and doctors' offices can, too. Social distancing and taking sanitary precautions are still required.


The Montgomery County judge says that Gov. Abbott only advises "people to stay away from certain types of businesses." 

Keough added that when Gov. Abbot's new order goes into place, the county has determined that "because of the vagueness of this order, we're not gonna keep -- whether it's hair salons or any of these things -- we're not gonna keep them closed. Because, you know what, that's not what the order says."The judge did say that Gov. Abbott may issue a clarification to his order, and the county would comply accordingly.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Montgomery County is reporting 562 COVID-19 cases, 404 of them are active. There have also been 12 deaths in the county and 146 recovered patients.

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You can watch Judge Keough's statement here