Local and state officials had warned it could happen, but Thursday’s COVID-19 hospitalizations officially created the scenario that would trigger a state-mandated rollback for businesses like bars, gyms, and retail stores.
That order mandates that trauma service regions that have COVID-19 patients in more than 15% of their beds for seven consecutive days will trigger rollbacks, such as bar closures; reduction of occupancy for restaurants, stores, movie theaters, and bowling alleys to 50%; and postponement of elective procedures.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins warned earlier today that the rollback was coming.
Earlier this week, Matt Goodman at our sister publication, D Magazine, took a look at the increased hospitalizations and increasing numbers of positive tests.
“The NCTTRAC data show that COVID patients account for a quarter of the census of Tarrant County hospitals,” he wrote. “In the 19 counties that make up our Trauma Region E, 20.2 percent of hospital beds are occupied by COVID patients.”
Shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday, Dallas County announced that Trauma Region E had indeed reached that seven-day mark, and that benchmark had triggered the rollback.
“Businesses whose occupancy rates were increased to 75% in October through GA-32 are immediately reduced back to 50%,” the county’s statement said. “This includes all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries in Dallas County and the other counties comprising TSA-E.”
A full list of affected businesses can be located at https://open.texas.gov/. The area will remain under the new restrictions until there are seven consecutive days where the percentage of COVID-19 patients in hospitals as a percentage of available beds is at 15% or less.