Dallas County & Ellis County Hospital Occupancy Rates Exceed 15%
DALLAS – Trauma Service Area E (TSA E), which includes Dallas County and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, today reached seven consecutive days where the percentage of COVID-19 confirmed patients in regional hospitals, as a percentage of available hospital beds, exceeded 15 percent. According to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 (GA-32), this makes TSA E an area with high hospitalizations and certain occupancy reductions are automatically triggered by reaching this threshold.
NOTE: While GA-32 was introduced and signed in October, it is the executive order that was triggered by the hospital occupancy rates.
Businesses whose occupancy rates were increased to 75% in October through GA-32 are immediately reduced back to 50%. 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/. These capacity reductions do not affect businesses listed under the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidance or covered by other exemptions contained in GA-32.
TSA E will remain under these restrictions until there are seven consecutive days where the percentage of COVID-19 confirmed patients in regional hospitals as a percentage of available hospital beds is at 15 percent or less. The Texas Department of State Health Services provides additional information on GA-32 and a list of all affected counties at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/ga32/.
Additionally, all licensed hospitals are required to discontinue elective surgeries.
Trauma Service Area (TSA) E — includes Ellis and 18 other counties. As of this evening, Ellis County reports they have 73 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Twelve of those are in the ICU and 61 are on a MedSurg unit.
Many are commenting that Governor Abbott previously said Texas will not experience another shutdown, but this measure is not a shutdown. The White House coronavirus task force and public health officials worked with the Governor and other state officials on guidelines to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. These capacity reductions are meant to slow the spread so stay at home orders can be avoided.