Hospitals in a trauma service area comprising 19 North Texas counties, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, have reported four consecutive days in which COVID-19 patients filled more than 15% of staffed beds.
If that number remains above the 15% threshold for seven consecutive days, it will trigger a new series of restrictions, according to an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott that went into effect Oct. 14.
Under these possible restrictions, businesses that have been required to operate at 75% capacity would have to ramp back down to 50% capacity. Bars would have to close once again unless alcoholic beverages account for less than 51% of their sales.
As of Nov. 30, patients confirmed to have COVID-19 filled 16.1% of hospital beds in Trauma Service Area E, which includes Collin, Denton, Tarrant and Dallas counties, among others, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard.
If the hospitalization numbers trigger new restrictions, they would be in place for at least a week. The governor’s order states the area’s hospitals would need to see COVID-19 patients at or below 15% of staffed beds for another seven consecutive days before the restrictions would reverse.