Big Country Politics: COVID-19 spike at ACU and opening bars in Taylor Co.

REAL-TIME CLOSED CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY U.S. CAPTIONING COMPANY >> THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE FOR “BIG COUNTY POLITICS,” AND WE START WITH EARLY VOTING STARTING THIS LAST WEEK, AND WE’RE TRACKING THE LATEST FOR THE RACE OF U.S. CONGRESS DISTRICT 19 HERE’S KTAB’S MARLEY TAPPER >> Reporter: ELECTION DAY IS IN WEEKS AND THE TWO CANDIDATES OF DISTRICT 19 ARE PREPARING AND ONE OF THE BIG TOPICS IS COVID-19, AND AS ONE EXPECTS, THEY HAVE DIFFERING OPINION >> AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC, THERE WERE LOTS OF THINGS WE DIDN’T KNOW >> Reporter: SO HE AGREED IT WAS APPROPRIATE TO HAVE TIGHT PROTOCOL >> WE DIDN’T DO A GOOD JOB OF [INDISCERNABLE] >> Reporter: MOVING FORWARD, AIRINGTON DOES NOT WANT TO SHUT DOWN THE ECONOMY >> IT’S COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC AND IRRESPONSIBLE TO SAY WE NEED TO SHUT THE ECONOMY DOWN >> Reporter: WHEREAS WATSON THINKS IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO ERADICATE COVID BOTH CANDIDATES WANT TO KEEP IT SECURE HERE IN ABILENE >> IN MY FIRST TERM, HELP SECURE THE B-21 SO THE REMAINDER OF THE 21ST CENTURY, WE WOULD HAVE A BOMBER BASE >> I HAVE SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES MILITARY I KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO HAVE AN EFFECT AND STRONG U.S FORCE >> Reporter: AND ANOTHER HOT TOPIC IS AGRICULTURE >> WE NEED TO TRY TO MAINTAIN AGRICULTURE AND THE FAMILY FARMS >> SO AGRICULTURE IS IMPORTANT FOR REASONS BEYOND JUST OUR LOCAL ECONOMY WE GOT TO BE ABLE TO FEED AND CLOTHE OUR OWN PEOPLE AND NOT DEPEND ON CHINA OR OTHER COUNTRIES FOR OUR VERY BASIC NEEDS >> Reporter: WHILE AIRINGTON WANTS TO SUPPORT THE FOCUS ON AG SUPPORT >> WATSON WANTS TO FOCUS ON THE SMALL FARMS >> WE HAVE WIND AND SOLAR >> WANTS TO CAPITALIZE ON WIND AND SUN POWER TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE >> NOW WE MOVE TO ABILENE WITH NEW DIRECT FLIGHT AND AIRLINE SOON DEPARTING FROM ABILENE REGIONAL AIRPORT AND NOW WE’RE DIGGING DEEPER INTO THE STATUS OF THE FLIGHT AND IF THERE ARE ENOUGH PASSENGERS HERE’S THE REPORT >> Reporter: TODAY, THE ONLY THE SOUNDS AT THE AIRPORT ARE REVOLVING DOORS AND EMPTY ESCALATORS, BUT THEY HOPE IN A FEW DAYS, THESE HALLS WILL BE FILLED WITH PASSENGER VOICE >> IT’S OCTOBER 21ST >> Reporter: A HOUSTON FLIGHT LANDING IN ABILENE >> IT’S ONE ARRIVAL THAT EVENING AND ONE DEPARTURE THAT EVENING >> Reporter: IT COULD BE FILLING LESS SEATS THAN EXPECTED >> WE’RE ABOUT A THIRD BOOK, A THIRD OF THE SEATS BOOKED ON THE FIRST FEW DAYS >> Reporter: DON GREEN SAID THEY’RE A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED WITH THE NUMBERS >> WE HOPE TO BE BETTER THAN THAT >> Reporter: BUT IT’S A TREND ALL AIRLINES ARE SEEING DURING THIS PANDEMIC >> PEOPLE ARE WAITING MUCH LATER TO BOOK THEIR FLIGHTS >> Reporter: IT STARTS WITH THE ABILENE KEY CUSTOMERS, BUSINESS TRAVELERS LIKE WILL KRISTOFFERSON >> WE HAVE BANKS WITHIN 100 MILES RADIUS OF THE AIRPORT >> Reporter: BUT THE MEETINGS COMES WITH UNCERTAINTY >> USUALLY, YOU SCHEDULE THE FLIGHT AS SOON AS THE MEETING IS SCHEDULED >> Reporter: AND IT’S PUSHING BACK THE BOOKING >> YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT TOMORROW WILL BRING >> Reporter: IT’S NOT JUST THE BUSINESSMAN BREAK THIS TREND BUT DRIVING TO DW >> NOW IT’S UP TO THE COMMUNITY TO KEEP THE SERVICE BY USING IT, THAT’S THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP IT IN THE LONG RUN >> WE ARE GOING THROUGH THE EDUCATION IN THE WYLE SCHOOL BOARD AND THEY ARE SAYING THEY WANT TO SHOW THEIR APPRECIATION TO THE STAFF FOR ALL THEIR EXTRA TIME AND WORK THAT’S BEEN PUT IN THROUGH THIS CHALLENGING PANDEMIC SCHOOL YEAR MARLEY, WE’RE GETTING STARTED HERE ON “BIG COUNTY POLITICS,” NEXT WE HEAR ABOUT THE INCREASES IN CASES AND OUR

>> WELCOME BACK TO “BIG COUNTY POLITICS,” AND I’M HERE WITH ACU PRESIDENT, DR. PHIL SHUBAR, AND WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE RISE IN CORONAVIRUS CASES, SO WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN? >> WE HAVE SEEN THE NUMBERS ESCALATE IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS, AND UNFORTUNATELY, WE DON’T WANT IT TO BE THAT WAY, BUT IT’S NOT SURPRISING, SO WE’VE BEEN EXPECTING STEADY INCREASE JUST BASED ON WATCHING OTHER INSTITUTION AND COLLEGES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WE’VE SEEN THAT HERE LOCALLY IN OTHER SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN THE K-12 ARENA AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS, SO WE ARE IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE’RE SEEING INCREASING CASE, BUT I THINK WE’RE EFFECTIVELY MANAGING THAT, AND BECAUSE WE DIDN’T EXPECT TO GO THE ENTIRE SEMESTER ABOUT AN INCREASE, I THINK WE’RE PREPARED AND DOING A GOOD JOB OF MANAGING IT >> Reporter: WHAT ARE SOME STEPS YOU DOING TO MANAGE? >> WELL, WE HAVE A LOT OF THINGS IN PLACE, EVERYTHING FROM ENSURING THAT WE CAN TEST OUR POPULATION HERE ON CAMPUS, SO WE HAVE SEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE OF PEOPLE REQUESTING TESTS AND HAVE SHOWN SOME LEVEL OF SYMPTOMS, THAT’S A GREAT VALUE AND BENEFIT FOR US TO BE ABLE TO CONDUCT THAT TESTING HERE WE HAVE ABOUT 150 ROOMS OR BEDS SET ASIDE ON OUR CAMPUS ON PROPERTY THAT THE UNIVERSITY OWNS TO BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE WHEN SOMEONE TESTS POSITIVE, THEY’RE IMMEDIATELY ISOLATED AND WE HAVE 20 LICENSED CONTACT TRACERS ENSURING THE PROCESS TO MAKE SURE TO IDENTIFY THE OTHER INDIVIDUALS THAT MAY HAVE TESTED POSITIVE THAT HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE OTHERS AND PUT THEM ON A 14 DAY QUARANTINE THEY CAN DO THAT AT HOME BUT WE ALSO HAVE THE FACILITIES TO DO THAT HERE, WHERE WE COORDINATE FOOD AND MEALS AND MAKE TRIPS TO THE STORE SO THEY CAN ACHIEVE THE QUARANTINE LIFE ISOLATION, WHICH IS TO BE REMOVED FROM THE COMMUNITY WE SCALED BACK A NUMBER OF EVENTS HERE ON CAMPUS WITH CERTAIN SOCIAL ACTIVITIES WITH THE STUDENTS, IN PARTICULAR WITH INTRAMURALS, SORORITIES AND FRATERNITIES, AND THAT IS WHAT WE’RE DOING TO TRY GET BACK ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE CURB, AND REMINDING THE COMMUNITY EVEN IF WE STARTED OUT STRONG WITH VERY FEW CASE, WE ALL NEEDED ANOTHER REMIND TORE RATCHET UP THAT — REMINDER TO RATCHET UP THAT CAUTION TO KEEP THE COMMUNITY SAFE >> Reporter: YOU HAVE FACILITIES HERE ON CAMPUS FOR PEOPLE TO QUARANTINE OR BEDS FOR PEOPLE TO QUARANTINE, DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY OF THOSE HAVE BEEN TAKEN UP? >> I THINK WE’RE USING MAYBE A THIRD TO A HALF OF THE BEDS THAT WE’VE IDENTIFIED, SO WE STILL HAVE A NUMBER AVAILABLE SHOULD WE NEED THEM, BUT, YOU KNOW, OFTEN TIMES, IT’S DIFFERENT SITUATIONS, SOME STUDENTS ARE IN A SITUATION WHERE IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO GO HOME, THE GEOGRAPHY WHERE THEY LIVE OR A SITUATION AT HOME, WHERE THEY HAVE A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY THAT IS ILL OR IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME, SO WE’RE ALLOWING THEM TO DO THAT HERE >> Reporter: ON CAMPUS, HAVE YOU NOTICED A CONCERN FROM STUDENTS OR FACULTY, ANYBODY MORE LIKE, I’M AFRAID TO BE HERE, HAVE YOU NOTICED ANYTHING LIKE THAT? >> IT’S TRADITIONALLY THE CASE ACROSS DIFFERENT POPULATIONS OF PEOPLE THOSE WHO ARE OLDER IN THE COMMUNITY TEND TO BE A LITTLE MORE NERVOUS I SOMETIMES WISH OUR STUDENTS WERE A LITTLE MORE CONCERNED THAN THEY ARE, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK THEY’VE DONE A PRETTY GOOD JOB OF DOING WHAT WE’VE ASKED THEM TO DO THE NUMBER OF 118 REPRESENTING A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF OUR COMMUNITY, SO WHILE IT’S UP, IT’S STILL A SMALL FRACTION OF THE COMMUNITY, AND FOR THE MOST PART, PEOPLE HAVE DONE A GREAT JOB, AND THERE’S NOT GREAT ANXIETY ON THE CAMPUS >> Reporter: I WANT TO ASK ABOUT ATTENDANCE, HAVE YOU SEEN AN INCREASE OR DECREASE OF PEOPLE TAKING CLASSES ON CAMPUS SINCE THE PANDEMIC? >> WHEN WE STARTED THE SEMESTER, WE HAD 80% OF THE COURSES FACE TO FACE AND 20% ONLINE, SO THE ONLINE PERCENTAGE IS HIGHER THAN IT WOULD BE IN A NORMAL SEMESTER, BECAUSE WE TOOK MANY OF THE LARGER SECTIONS OF CLASS THAT COULDN’T BE SOCIALLY DISTANT, WE TURNED THEM ONLINE, WHICH

WAS BEFORE THAN PREVIOUSLY, BUT A MAJORITY OF THE CLASSES ARE IN A FACE TO FACE STRUCTURE >> Reporter: IN THE FACE TO FACE CLASSES, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO KEEP THEM SAFE? >> THE STUDENTS ARE SIX FEET APART AND THEY WEAR MASKS AND DISINFECT EVERY CLASSROOM BETWEEN EVERY SETTING AND WE’RE TRYING TO TAKE THOSE PRECAUTIONS AND THE PROFESSOR IS MASKED, ALSO >> Reporter: TAKING THE PRECAUTIONS, DO YOU FEEL THAT HAS HELPED NOT TO INCREASE AT SUCH A RAPID RATE? >> OH, SURE, I THINK ALL THE THINGS WE’RE DOING INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY IS HAVING AN IMPACT I BELIEVE FROM A CONSOLIDATED FASHION, ALL THE THINGS THAT WE’VE DONE, INCLUDING THE INDIVIDUAL THINGS THAT WE’RE ASKING THE STUDENTS AND THE FACULTY AND STAFF TO DO HAS HAD A POSITIVE IMPACT 118 CASE IN A COMMUNITY OF 5,000 IS STILL A LOW PERCENTAGE OF OUR COMMUNITY, AND I THINK IF WE HADN’T BEEN DISCIPLINED AND NOT CONTINUING TO EXERCISE THESE PROCESSES AND PROTOCOLS, WE CERTAINLY WOULD SEE A HIGHER NUMBER THAN 118 >> Reporter: MOVING FORWARD, IS THERE A NUMBER OF CASES THAT IT WOULD TAKE TO SHUT THE CAMPUS DOWN? >> YEAH, I GET THAT QUESTION A LOT THERE’S NOT A NUMBER, AND WE HAVEN’T IDENTIFIED A NUMBER WE LOOK AT THREE THINGS, THE CASES, THE TRAJECTORY, THE MOMENTUM, WHERE WE ARE, EXPECT TO BE IN THE FUTURE AND CONTAINMENT, SO CASES, CONTAINMENT CONTAINMENT REALLY FOCUSES WHERE WE ARE WITH THE QUARANTINING AND ISOLATION BEDS AND HOW EFFECTIVE ARE WE WITH CONTACT TRACING, AND ARE WE IN A GOOD PLACE IN THE TESTING INVENTORY AND OUR ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY AS THE CASE INCREASE, AND THE THIRD “C” IS COMMUNITY HOW EXPERIENCE AND HOW IT COMPARES TO TAYLOR COUNTY AND THE STATE OF TEXAS AND THE UNIVERSITY, WHAT THEIR EXPERIENCE IS MOI PROVIDE IN BENEFITS IN THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE TO EVALUATE IT WITH CASES, CONTAINMENT AND COMMUNITY TO THE BROADER EXPERIENCE, AND IT’S THE WHOLE PICTURE, NOT JUST A SINGLE PIECE THAT COMES TOGETHER TO HELP US DECIDE WHAT STEPS TO TAKE NEXT >> Reporter: OKAY, I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME DR. SHUBERT >> THANK YOU STILL TO COME HERE ON “BIG COUNTY POLITICS,” WE’LL HERE FROM COUNTY JUDGE [INDISCERNABLE] ON HIS DECISION >> AND THIS LAST WEEK, A BIG DECISION MADE ALLOWING FOR BARS TO OPEN IN TAYLOR COUNTY AND HERE’S OUR CONVERSATION WITH TAYLOR COUNTY JUDGE DONNY BOWLES ON THAT DECISION >> GOOD AFTERNOON, EVERYONE I WANTED TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXPLAIN TO YOU IN TERMS OF OUR [INAUDIBLE] WE’LL ALLOW THE BARS TO OPEN AT 50% CAPACITY IN LINE WITH GOVERNOR ABBOTT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER G-832, SO I WANT TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY AND EXPLAIN WHAT WE DID THIS MORNING AND WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID AND MOST IMPORTANTLY TO LET THE FOLKS KNOW HOW THIS IS GOING TO AFFECT THEM AS WE GO FORWARD, SO LET ME TALK ABOUT G-832, YOU REMEMBER SINCE MARCH OF THIS YEAR, WE HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH COVID-19 STARTING IN MARCH 13th WHEN THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS DECLARED THAT TEXAS, ALL 254 COUNTIES AS A DISASTER AREA AND MADE A DISASTER DECLARATION SAYING COVID-19 WAS A THREAT TO THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF CITIZENS THROUGHOUT TEXAS, OKAY ON THE 26th DAY OF MARCH, THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PUT IN PLACE OUR OWN DISASTER DECLARATION, AND ON THE 31ST DAY OF MARCH, WE SPECIFICALLY SET FORTH THE DIRECTIVES AND GUIDELINES THAT FELL IN LINE WITH THE ONES FROM GOVERNOR ABBOTT SO WE HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH THOSE THROUGH THE PROCESS SINCE MARCH AND THE GOVERNOR FROM TIME TO TIME UPDATES HIS ORDERS AND HIS EXECUTIVE ORDERS, AND WE DO FOLD THOSE INTO OUR ORDINANCE SO IT DOES LOOK AND PRESENT A UNIFIED PRESENTATION FOR THE CITIZENS SO THEY KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IS BEING CALLED FOR NOW, WHEN WE FIRST STARTED OUT, YOU MAY REMEMBER SOME OF THE RESTRICTIONS WERE PUT IN PLACE WERE PRETTY FAR-REACHING, A LOT OF BUSINESSES THAT HAD TO ALTER THEIR OPERATIONS DRAMATICALLY IN TERMS TO OPERATE AND

CONTINUE TO SERVE THE PUBLIC, AND THIS REALLY WAS BECAUSE THIS COVID-19 PANDEMIC HIT ON THE HEELS OF AN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN THAT REALLY WAS HURTING BUSINESSES ANYWAY, SO THESE TWO ITEMS COMBINED MADE IT VERY TOUGH ON BUSINESSES TO STAY OPEN AND OPERATE AND IN MANY CASES, THEY HAD TO CLOSE DOWN, ADJUST THEIR EMPLOYEES AND CHANGE OPERATIONS SO THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN WORKING ON GETTING TEXAS REPEAT AND G-832 FURTHER AMENDS SOME OF THE PREVIOUS RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE AND ONE DEALS WITH BARS YOU MAY REMEMBER A COUPLE MOMENTS AGO, THE GOVERNOR CLOSED THE BARS OUT OF FEAR THAT THE PROXIMITY OF PATRONS IN THE BARS MAY BE LEADING TO THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, SO HE DID ORDER THOSE BARS CLOSED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF PLACES SUCH AS RESTAURANT WHERE THEY DID SERVE ALCOHOL, BUT 51% OF THEIR REVENUE DID NOT COME FROM THE SALE OF ALCOHOL, THAT IS WHY THEY WERE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE TO OPERATE THE BAR OWNERS AS YOU MIGHT UNDERSTAND IS UNDERSTANDABLY UPSET, AND THEY FELT THERE WAS A DOUBLE STANDARD INVOLVED WE DIDN’T GET IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT BUT ACTING ON THE GOVERNOR’S ORDERS ON TUESDAY OF LAST WEEK, THE GOVERNOR ISSUED G-832, WHICH OPENS BASICALLY 75% OCCUPANCY IN MOST BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE STATE OF TEXAS WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS, AND ONE WAS THE BARS WITH 50% OCCUPANCY PUTTING PROVISIONS IN PLACE HOW THE BARS HAVE TO OPERATE, AND THAT’S WHERE WE WERE TODAY WHEN WE RECEIVED WORD OF THAT LAST WEEK, WE DID FOLLOW THE GOVERNOR’S DIRECTIVES OF WHAT WE HAD TO DO WE CONTACTED THE TEXAS ALCOHOLIC AND BEVERAGE COMMISSION AND WANTED TO KNOW OF THE HOSPITAL OCCUPANCY FOR COVID-19 AND THE DIAGNOSIS, AND THEY SET THE LIMIT OF 15% IF WE WERE HIGHER THAN 15%, WE WERE NOT ABLE TO OPEN UP OUR BARS HERE TOMORROW WE WERE NOT 15% AS OF YESTERDAY, WE WERE LOOKING AT A LEVEL OF 3.9%, SO WE ARE SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW THE 15%, THAT’S WHAT ALLOWED US TO DECLARE BEFORE THE TEXAS ALCOHOLIC AND BEVERAGE COMMISSION AND DOCUMENTS PROVIDED TO THEM LAST WEEK THAT WE WERE AND HAVE BEEN BELOW 15% THROUGHOUT THIS CRISIS, AND SO THAT IS WHAT SET THE STAGE FOR THIS THEY GAVE US THE OKAY, AND SO EFFECTIVE TOMORROW, THE 14th, THAT IS WHEN THE BARS WILL BE ALLOWED TO OPEN AT 50% CAPACITY WHAT WE DID THIS MORNING IS THE DECISION WAS MINE TO MAKE, THE GOVERNOR GAVE THAT TO ME IN THE EXECUTIVE ORDER, AND THAT IS BECAUSE THE COUNTY IS A SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE, AND THE COUNTY JUDGE OF THE PRESIDING COURT IS TO ONE TO MAKE THAT ACCORDING TO SECTION 41808 THE GOVERNOR GAVE ME THAT AUTHORITY AND THE COUNTY JUDGES ALL ACROSS TEXAS, WE ARE MAKING THE SAME KIND OF DECISION I DO WANT TO STRESS IN MAKING THAT DECISION, I DID SO FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS WE HAVE HAD SOME OPERATORS OF BARS AND SOME BUSINESSMEN WHO ARE, AGAIN, PROCESS OF GETTING BARS FROM BREWERIES, THIS HAS HAD A DETRIMENTAL IMPACT ON THOSE AND CURTAILED THEIR OPERATIONS SEVERELY AND SOME ARE EXPRESSING THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO OPEN AS A RESULT OF THIS THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN TRYING TO GET TEXAS OPEN AS THEY’RE ABLE TO DO SO I THINK I SPEAK THIS IS A LEAP OF FAITH ON HIS PART AND HOPING BY OPENING IT UP TO 50% OCCUPANCY, THE BARS CAN OPERATE IN A SAFE MANNER, PROTECT THEIR PATRONS, AND WE HOPE THAT, AS WELL WE FOLLOW THE NUMBERS EVERY DAY THAT WE GET, WE GET SOME FROM THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND THE TRAUMA AREA WE BELONG TO, WE BELONG TO TRAUMA SERVICE D, AND WE LOOK AT THEIR NUMBERS AND SEE HOW MANY HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE BASED ON COVID EACH DAY THOSE ARE NOT THE NUMBERS BROADCAST ON TELEVISION, BUT WHERE WE GET OUR NUMBERS FROM SO WE ARE BELOW 15% AND MY GOAL AND HOPE IS AS WE GET THE FACILITIES AND BUSINESSES OWN, THEY CAN OPERATE IN A SAFE MANNER AND WE’LL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE NUMBERS AND SEE HOW THEY’RE DOING THE ALCOHOLIC AND BEVERAGE COMMISSION IS THE ONE THAT OVERSEES THE OPERATION OF THE BARS AS I DID INDICATE THIS MORNING, I MADE A COMMENT REGARDING THE OPERATION OF BARS, LOTS OF PEOPLE GO TO BARS AND DO SO FOR LOTS OF REASONS SOME PEOPLE GO BECAUSE THEY LIKE THE ATMOSPHERE, IT’S A LAID BACK ATMOSPHERE, A PLACE

TO GO AND BE AMONG FRIENDS AND OTHER PEOPLE GO FOR OTHER REASONS, SOMETIMES THEY HAVE TO HAVE MORE OF A PARTY LIFE LIFESTYLE AND THE RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE WILL BE INCUMBENT ON THE PATRONS OF THE BARS AND THE OPERATORS OF THE BARS TO OPERATE IN A SAFE MANNER, AND THERE ARE STILL SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS IN ITEMS OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AND BEING UP AND MOVING AROUND IN THAT BAR THAT HAVE TO BE ADHERED TO IF WE CAN DO ALL OF THAT IN A SAFE MANNER, I THINK WE CAN MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS, AND HOPEFULLY IN A MONTH OR TWO AFTER THIS GOES INTO EFFECT, THAT WILL ALLOW THE BARS TO GO TO A HIGHER OCCUPANCY RATE SO WE’LL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE >> ALL RIGHT, “BIG COUNTY POLITICS” CONTINUES >> WE LOVE THIS NEXT STORY A 91-YEAR-OLD MAN IN ABILENE VOTES FOR THE FIRST TIME >> FOR 91 AND A HALF-YEAR-OLD HUMBERTO VAELLEGA WAS BIG FOR HIM TO VOTE FOR THE FIRST TIME >> WE WENT DOWN TO THE HOUSE >> VOTING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FOR THE FIRST TIME TUESDAY, SOMETHING ONLY POSSIBLE AFTER BECOMING AN AMERICAN CITIZEN JUST LAST YEAR >> [INDISCERNABLE] >> AND GETTING TO PUT THE OPINIONS TO PAPER WAS A PRETTY GOOD FEELING SAYS DE LaVEGA >> I DON’T KNOW IF EVERYBODY FEELS THAT WAY OR NOT, SO OFTEN, THEY DON’T THINK ABOUT IT, BUT FOR ME, IT’S A GOOD EXPERIENCE >> Reporter: THE 91-YEAR-OLD GOT HIS BALLOT IN BEFORE HIS WIFE GEORGIA DID IN THE ELECTION CYCLE DO YOU YOURSELF VOTE? >> I DO, BUT I HAVEN’T YET >> Reporter: SHE DIDN’T MARK AS THIS YEAR MARKED A BIG MILESTONE FOR HER HUSBAND >> IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME COMING, BUT I’M PROUD OF HIM >> WHEN PICKING THE CANDIDATES, HE WENT WITH HIS HEART AND SHOWS WHO THOUGHT COULD MAKE A BETTER FUTURE FOR HIS FAMILY >> MY FOUR KIDS AND MY GRANDKIDS AND GREAT GRANDKIDS >> Reporter: THIS FIRST TIME VOTER ASKS ANYONE RUNNING FOR OFFICE THIS YEAR AND THE YEARS TO COME TO DO WHAT HE DID BEFORE THE POLLS AND LOOK INWARD >> TO ASK THEMSELVES, IF AGOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE OR MAKE A PROBLEM >> Reporter: IN ABILENE WITH COVERAGE YOU CAN COUNT ON, MERCEDES HERNANDEZ, “KTAB NEWS.” >> THANKS FOR WATCHING “BIG COUNTY POLITICS.” WE’LL SEE YOU SAME PLACE, SAME TIME NEXT WEEK