Denton County and the surrounding area has surpassed a COVID-19 threshold that will affect local businesses, nursing homes and hospitals, according to a news release from the county.
Executive orders signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott set a benchmark for COVID-19 patients in hospitals. If the number of COVID-19 patients exceeded 15% of total hospital capacity in a Trauma Service Area (as set by the State Health Services), then certain restrictions would go into effect.
Trauma Service Area E, which includes Denton County and much of North Texas, has now met that criterion.
As a result, according to Abbott’s orders, the following restrictions are now in effect:
- Any business establishment that currently has a 75% occupancy or operating limit may operate at up to only 50%. This does not affect entities such as churches, local government operations, childcare services or public or private schools.
- People shall not visit bars or similar establishments. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will determine the extent of their operation.
- The visiting of nursing homes, state supported living centers, assisted living facilities, or long-term care facilities is determined through guidance from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
- Every hospital that is licensed under Chapter 241 of Texas Health and Safety Code shall postpone elective surgeries and procedures.
- The orders remain in place until TSA E has seven straight days below the 15% threshold.
As of Thursday night, Denton County has not yet received official notification from the State Health Services department, according to the news release.