Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo warned residents in a Jan. 5 press conference reaching this threshold would force the rolling back of state reopening measures, which officials with her office confirmed went into effect later that same day.
An October executive order from Gov. Greg Abbott stated regions meeting this threshold would have businesses formerly operating at 75% capacity scale back to 50% capacity, and bars would be forced to close.
NEW: The Harris County region officially crossed the state's hospitalization threshold triggering #COVID19 reopening rollbacks. Honestly, this is just another milestone on the road to a catastrophe unless each of us acts. We can't rely on a small occupancy rollback. Do your part.
— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) January 5, 2021
Hidalgo implored residents to take precautions to curb the spread of the virus Jan. 5.
“This is a wake-up call for us—this is the last wake-up call we might get,” she said. “Each and every one of us knows the drill. We’ve done it before; we have to do it again. Stay home, get tested and please avoid any gatherings that bring you with people you don’t live with.”
State data shows Trauma Service Area Q’s seven-day streak of having COVID-19 patients exceed 15% total hospital capacity began Dec. 29, and as of Jan. 4, was at 19.9%.
More than 500 COVID-19 patients are in Harris County intensive care units as of Jan. 5, about one-third of all ICU patients countywide, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council.