DSHS: Business capacity limits lifted to 75%

Sunday, February 21, 2021

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Felicia Frazar The Seguin Gazette

Area business can open their doors to a few more patrons.

In accordance with Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, the capacity limits have increased to 75% as of Wednesday after it was determined the county, along with several other neighboring counties, no longer was in a high hospitalization area.

The Texas Department of State Health Services Trauma Service Area P, which encompasses several counties including Guadalupe County, had sustained a hospital capacity rate of less than 15% for seven consecutive days, raising the capacity restriction from 50% to 75%, according to a letter Guadalupe County Judge Kyle Kutscher received late Thursday afternoon.

“This is a little bit of a silver lining,” Kutscher said. “The COVID numbers have plateaued and active case counts are on the decline. We expected this to happen, but I thought it would take a little longer to get to this point.”

The increase came about a month and a half after restrictions were put in place on Dec. 29, after Guadalupe County received notice that Trauma Service Area P had a hospital capacity that exceed the 15% hospital capacity threshold for more than seven consecutive days.

“I think, also, the reason we saw the big increase or influx is we saw the big gatherings during holidays,” he said.

Trauma Service Area P is made up of 22 counties including Bexar, Comal, Gonzales, and Guadalupe.

“Under the criteria laid out in GA-32, your Trauma Service Area, TSA P, no longer meets the definition of a high hospitalization area and so may reopen to the higher levels allowable under GA-32,” the letter from DSHS to Kutscher read.

The decreased restrictions also allow for elective surgeries to start up again, DSHS said.

“The Health and Human Services Commission, the agency responsible for regulating hospitals in Texas, is separately providing notice directly to affected hospitals notifying them of the ability to resume elective surgeries located in TSA P,” the state agency said.

Kutscher believes the decline in cases can be attributed to more people adhering to COVID guidelines and the holiday cycle rolling out.

“We just need to continue to be smart and practice those things while supporting businesses and opening up to 75% restaurants and being safe,” he said. “Hopefully, with the increased vaccine distributions, things will get better as we get into the summer.”

The increased capacities went into effect immediately, Kutscher said.

View article on SeguinGazette.com

Category: news, Covid19, Guadalupe County

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