Reopening cancellations begin in North Texas after COVID-19 hospitalizations remain above 15% for 7th day in a row

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After seven consecutive days of COVID-19 patients occupying more than 15% of available hospital beds in the North Texas area, companies will be forced to further limit capacity or temporarily shut down as restorations take effect.

That 15% threshold, which equates to about 2,400 people in hospitals in North Texas, is the threshold set by Governor Greg Abbott in his emergency orders.

North Texas leaders will now receive a letter from the state advising them of some cancellations of Governor Abbott’s gradual reopening.

Elective surgeries will again be suspended. Restaurants, retail stores and gyms must reduce capacity to 50% and bars must close.

RELATED: Coronavirus coverage

Dallas Code Enforcement and Dallas Fire-Rescue are preparing for rollbacks by increasing patrols starting Friday.

The demotion order coincides with the start of the National Finals rodeo at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Thursday, as well as several events in downtown Fort Worth and the Stockyards.

Texas Trauma Department Area Map

City of Dallas officials said the majority of companies were complying with orders, with those violating their capacity by less than 10 more people.

These cancellations of state-imposed restrictions will now last until the hospitalization rate in North Texas falls below 15% for seven consecutive days.

As of Thursday, more than 15.6% of hospital patients in our 19-county area are coronavirus patients.

The hospital region includes: Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Fannin, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise counties.

RELATED: Interactive map of COVID-19 cases in Texas

Reopening discounts boil down to the capacity of hospital beds.

” There are some [hospitals] which can increase the bed capacity. There are others who really can’t because they don’t have the staff to staff them. And there are some in some rural areas that are already full, ”explained Steve Love, CEO / Chairman of the DFW Hospital Council.

Love said some hospitals in the area are working to increase capacity.

Others have only a little leeway.

“Our staff are exhausted. We have people who work double hours, ”he said. “Do they have the capacity to expand and add more beds to their existing campus? Yes, but again you must have the staff to fill these beds.

The order also maintains that hospitals must suspend elective surgeries, but Love said those surgeries can be performed off campus.

“Many have surgery centers, they have outpatient offices, etc.,” he explained.

“All hospital systems tell us that they have passed the highest levels they have seen or very close to,” said Dr Philip Huang, Dallas County director of health.

As the rapid coronavirus outbreak continues, hospitals are asking the state for help.

Fort Worth’s JPS Hospital said in the next two weeks, the state will send about 45 nurses. About 15 of them are intensive care nurses.

Dallas Parkland Hospital currently has 189 temporary workers, 15 of whom were sent by the state. This includes nurses and other staff working in hospitals, prisons, and testing sites. 102 others are itinerant nurses from an agency.

Texas Health and Human Services will send a letter to county judges advising them of the action plan.

Dallas County officials said they expected to receive the letter Thursday night or Friday.

The annual Grapevine Parade of Lights is something Main Street business owners look forward to.

It’s usually one of the busiest nights of the season in Grapevine, but this year the flashbacks are what worry many business owners trying to survive.

It’s normally a crowded crowd.

“We couldn’t have this conversation here on the sidewalk if it was normal because the sidewalks would just be full,” said Stephanie Reed, who runs Farina’s Winery and Cafe

But this year, it’s a reverse parade, where spectators drive by to see stationary tanks.

It has been reduced, in an effort to minimize crowds during the pandemic.

“It’s a roller coaster, I think for everyone,” added Reed.

She said businesses at the Metroplex were feeling the effects of COVID-19

“I don’t want to see anyone lose their business because of this,” she said.

Now they’re hit again after COVID-19 hospitalizations in the 19-county North Texas trauma region exceeded capacity by 15% for seven straight days. A threshold set by Governor Abbott.

A state order is now forcing restaurants, retail stores, offices and gyms to cut capacity to 50%.

The bars must close completely.

“They’ve basically shut down their business for half of this year, if not more,” said Jon Powell, who runs Hop and Sting Brewing Co. “It’s going to be very, very, very, very difficult to get back on your feet. ”

Hop and Sting Brewing Company is one of 2,800 bars in the state that the TABC says have been allowed to be reclassified as a restaurant in order to stay open. Still, Powell believes the bars have been abused.

“Because restaurants were able to stay open, retail stores were able to stay open, but because we sell alcohol as our main source of income, we were deemed unsafe for COVID despite what we might have like. conditions on our site, ”he added.

He legally combined his brewery with food trucks so that food sales exceeded alcohol sales.

Not all bars have this opportunity.

“To have stood out just because we make more money with alcohol than other establishments really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Powell added.

The holiday season is different in 2020 and flashbacks are another big blow to businesses that rely on holiday income.

“We all started decorating a bit early just because 2020 hasn’t been our favorite year,” said Reed. “So we try to keep the last two months as happy as possible.”

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