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Dec 29

December 29, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #161

Posted on December 29, 2020 at 11:15 AM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


What’s the latest on counties where businesses can open at only 50 percent capacity versus 75 percent capacity?


Executive order GA-32 was issued by the governor back on October 7, 2020. A key feature of GA-32 is the ability of most facilities (not including bars, which are subject to additional restrictions) to reopen at 75% capacity, unless they are located in a Trauma Service Area with high COVID-19 hospitalizations. An "area with high hospitalizations" is defined as "any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID- 19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID- 19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less." Hospitalization data by Trauma Service Area can be found here.


Since we last reported on this issue, and due to recent record hospitalizations, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) updated their GA-32 webpage to add many new regions/counties including large metropolitan areas to the list of high COVID-19 hospitalization areas - Trauma Service Area D (Abilene area); Trauma Service Area E (Dallas/Fort Worth area); Trauma Service Area G (Longview area); Trauma Service Area H (Lufkin area); Trauma Service Area N (Bryan/College Station area); Trauma Service Area P (San Antonio area); and Trauma Service Area R (Galveston area).


These seven regions joined areas A, B, I, M and T as the twelve regions of the state where re-openings are limited to 50 percent under GA-32. (Trauma Service Area J (Midland/Odessa area) has dropped off the list since our last report, but rising numbers the last couple of days suggest it could soon be back on the list).


The county judge of a county located within a high-hospitalization Trauma Service Area may follow an attestation process with DSHS to continue to operate at 75% capacity for certain businesses if there have been fewer than 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the previous 14 days within the county. The affected counties that have submitted an attestation and qualified to continue operating at 75% capacity are listed on the GA-32 webpage linked above.


Is there recent news for therapeutic treatments for nursing home patients?


Yes. The Governor announced yesterday that his office and the Department of State Health Services is alerting nursing homes about the availability of monoclonal antibody therapies for such patients. In some cases, the therapies can be delivered straight from the federal government. 


Further Updates


Can we expect an Update on New Year’s Eve?


No. Unless there’s urgent news to share, we’re giving you a break from city-related COVID-19 news on Thursday. Look for the next Coronavirus Update on Tuesday, January 5. Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.


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


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