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Reopening Southeast Texas: City council members vote to reopen entertain venues across Beaumont starting next week

This decision comes at a time when coronavirus cases are decreasing along with the city's hospitalization rate.

The fight started with the children's museum, and now the Jefferson Theatre and Julie Rogers Theater. Both are set to swing open their door next week thanks to a new vote by city council Tuesday.

Reservations are pouring into Beaumont’s event management office after council members voted to reopen the city's entertainment facilities.

Katie Dukes says the Beaumont city council's decision is long overdue.
"You still have to get kind of normalcy going or our economy still going to be bad. People need their jobs back so we need to open so we need to open back up," Dukes said.

This decision comes at a time when coronavirus cases are decreasing along with the city's hospitalization rate, which is why Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames is on board.

"People have been in their homes; some of them are depressed,” Mayor Ames said. “They might feel like they need to get out some. At some point, we need to move forward, we have to proceed with caution, I can't say that enough."

This is a concern felt by the mayor and health experts who worry that this decision could have long-term impacts.

"If we're gonna open up, we have to be ready to take another spike in coronavirus patients,” Dr. Ray Callas said.

With venues opening at 50 percent capacity, Dr. Callas said his biggest concern is asymptomatic residents.

"There is going to be some venues that's gonna end up with people that don't even know they have the virus and they are going to be spreading it like wildfire. So, I'm just saying, respect, even though we're opening, respect the virus," Dr. Callas said.

On October 1, 2020, public entertainment venues across Beaumont can officially open with CDC guidelines in place.

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