Restaurants, businesses allowed to increase capacity from 50% to 75%

Shelby County no longer meets the definition of a high hospitalization area and may reopen to the higher levels

Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison has received a letter from Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, indicating restaurants and businesses in the county may legally increase capacity.

As of this week, those firms may increase capacity from 50 percent to 75 percent, she said.

The letter states that under Gov.Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 which states:

Any Trauma Service Area (TSA) that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.

Under the criteria laid out in GA-32 TSA G which includes Shelby County, Shelby County no longer meets the definition of a high hospitalization area and may reopen to the higher levels allowable under GA-32.

During the time which TSA G COVID-19 hospitalization rate was above 15 percent, restaurants and businesses were limited to 50 percent capacity. Now that TSA G has been below the 15 COVID-19 hospitalization rate for more than seven days, businesses and restaurants in Shelby County are allowed to resume operations at 75 percent capacity.

Shelby County has to date, received limited supplies of COVID vaccine. There are three registered COVID vaccine providers in Shelby County and all three currently have hundreds of individuals on their waiting lists to receive the vaccine.

Vaccine providers are currently still administering COVID vaccine only to individuals in category:

* 1A: Front line health care workers and long-term care facilities

* 1B-People 65 & older or people 16 and older with a health condition that increases risk of severe COVID-19 illnesses.

The County Judge and Emergency Management Coordinator receive a weekly email (usually on Friday) from DSHS which includes the state-wide vaccine allotments for the following week.

Shelby County was again, not on the allotment list for this week. This is not an issue affecting only Shelby County but also affecting many rural counties.

The majority of vaccine allotments have been going to the state’s larger vaccination hubs but hopefully as more vaccine becomes available to the state then rural counties will see an increase in vaccine allotments.

Harbison has sent a request to the DSHS 4/5N Regional Director requesting that Shelby County receive a larger allotment of COVID vaccine in order to assist the local vaccine providers in getting more Shelby County residents vaccinated.

The Light and Champion

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Center TX 75935
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