Texas State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstadt informed the county that it had reached the limit that required the government to impose stricter restrictions under Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 executive order.
This includes closing the bar, reducing restaurant capacity by up to 50% and canceling most alternative medical procedures in hospitals. It affects counties that belong to the Texas Trauma Service Area R, including Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, and Orange counties. Businesses from Beaumont to Galveston are affected by the rollback, although Harris County and Houston are not.
Henry said, “We looked into it and sent several requests to the state not to rely on information that we are not aware of. We did not receive any approval of our request.” “We have tried to explain that Galveston County is in a trauma service area, TSA, that extends from Georgia County to the Louisiana state line to Jasper, and to try to put a size on all of that large area of geography. The solution fits is really ridiculous. “
“It can make or break a business, especially in the really dry times of January and February, in hopes of being able to make it to March”, said James Clarke, president of the Galveston Chapter of the Texas Restaurant Association.
On Monday, Galveston County saw a two-day period of a total of 259 additional new COVID-19 cases, according to data from the Galveston County Health District. According to the Texas Department of State Health Service COVID-19 dashboard, a total of 17,686 county residents have tested positive for coronovirus since mid-March. The dashboard reported that 200 people died as of Tuesday.
SAE ALSO: Approximately 300% of the number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily in Galveston County since the end of October
Henry said he continues to oppose new restrictions, which include the closure of bars and other businesses, as well as reducing capacity in places like restaurants. According to an order by Abbott released in October, bars and other businesses in states with high hospitalization rates should be closed.
“High Hospitalization Area” means any trauma service area consisting of seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15%, unless That the trauma service area consists of seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less, ”the order stated.
The Texas Trauma Service Area R, which includes Brazoria, Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton and Orange counties, had 248 beds available out of 1,474 beds on Tuesday, including eight in the ICU. According to TDSHS data, about 1,106 people were hospitalized on Monday. Henry disputed those numbers on Tuesday.
“This is flawed data,” Henry said without giving evidence.
By the order of the governor, should the bars close, Henry said the Galveston County Sheriff did not have the resources to implement it.
“I talked to the sheriff this morning. He has no resources to implement it. I spoke to the district attorney this morning, he warned everyone to file charges because he probably wouldn’t take them,” Henry he said. “TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission) has its own police in the state.”
According to GCHD, Galveston and Texas City have seen 2,595 and 2,340 cases respectively and Friendwood has seen a total of 1,014 cases. More than a quarter of the total cases – 4,000, or 28% – have been in League City, and three out of every 10 out of 1,427 are currently active in League City.
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