Cigar bars and strip clubs will be closed in Dallas County due to their potential to spread COVID-19 and lack of compliance with face mask orders, Judge Clay Jenkins announced Friday afternoon.
Jenkins said he and Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott asking him for further guidance about these businesses and did not receive a response.
The order closed the businesses over concerns that face masks could not be worn and the businesses could cause further spread of the novel coronavirus. It was announced on the fourth day in a row that Dallas County has reported less than 1,000 cases in a day following an 18-day streak of daily cases being above that.
The county received numerous complaints regarding the businesses where masks cannot be work 100% of the time, Jenkins said.
"Some of these businesses are bars in every sense of the word yet they remain open and are at risk of spreading the coronavirus," Jenkins said.
Per Abbott's executive order on June 26, bars or establishments that make more than 51% of their revenue through alcohol sales must remain closed.
"These [strip clubs] make a lot of their money off tips, lap dances etcetera so they could remain open," Jenkins said.
Code compliance visited the strip clubs to try to get them to comply with wearing face masks, Jenkins said, and they would not.
Abbott's order does not address strip clubs or cigar bars.
"Frankly, it is just not possible to smoke something with a mask on so that was another potential super spread," Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he has also asked Abbott to close other establishments, like bowling alleys and movie theaters because they have the potential to spread COVID-19 among guests.
The county is still seeing a record number of hospitalizations and daily reports of cases are slowly decreasing, he said.
"Keep wearing that mask," Jenkins said.