View All Posts

Sep 30

September 30, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #130

Posted on September 30, 2020 at 3:51 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


Is my city in “an area with high hospitalizations” so that restaurants, gyms, libraries, and other establishments can’t open up to 75 percent of the listed occupancy?


Pursuant to GA-30, the governor authorized the following establishments to re-open to 75 percent occupancy, up from 50 percent, so long as the establishment is not located in “an area with high hospitalizations”:


1.  in-store, non-CISA retail establishments;

2.  dine-in restaurants, defined as “[o]nly restaurants that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages, and whose customers eat or drink only while seated.”

3.  non-CISA office buildings;

4.  non-CISA manufacturers;

5.  museums and libraries; and

6.  gyms and exercise facilities and classes.


The governor’s office characterizes “an area with high hospitalizations” as a Trauma Service Area in which the percentage of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 exceeds 15 percent for seven consecutive days. Once that happens, a Trauma Service area cannot lose its high-hospitalization designation until it experiences seven consecutive days in which the COVID-19 hospitalization rate is 15 percent or less.


At the moment, four Trauma Service Areas (out of 22 total Trauma Service Areas) are designated as having high hospitalizations, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Those four regions are:


1.  Trauma Service Area M (Waco area);

2.  Trauma Service Area S (Victoria area);

3.  Trauma Service Region T (Laredo area); and

4.  Trauma Service Region V (Lower Rio Grande Valley area).


The establishments listed above may only open to 50 percent occupancy in these four regions, while the same establishments in every other region of the state may open to 75 percent occupancy. Additionally, pursuant to GA-31, elective surgeries are postponed in hospitals within these four regions.


Interested city officials can access up-to-date data on the hospitalization rate within their Trauma Service Area here (first click on “Combined Hospital Data over Time by Trauma Service Area (TSA)” and then, within the Excel Spreadsheet, select “COVID Hospitalizations (%)”).


Further Updates


Where can I access a summary of the key topics you’ve covered in these Updates?


TML staff launched these Coronavirus Updates in mid-March when our cities started feeling the effects of COVID-19. We know it’s hard to digest it all, so we’re offering a comprehensive update at the TML Virtual Annual Conference and Exhibition on October 14 at 1:30 p.m. Scott Houston, TML Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, will lead the discussion, and will be joined by Assistant General Counsels Christy Drake-Adams, Amber McKeon-Mueller, and Evelyn Njuguna.


Register here to hear this presentation and view more than 30 other TML Annual Conference sessions related to recovery and resilience. The deadline for early conference registration is Thursday, October 1.


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?


TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.