Limitations in Latest Governor's Orders Triggered by High COVID-19 Hospitalizations

On September 17, 2020 and October 7, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Orders GA-31 and GA-32 respectively. GA-31 required hospitals in an area of high hospitalizations to postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not medically necessary to diagnose or correct a serious medical condition or preserve the life of a patient, as determined by the physician. If a procedure does not deplete hospital capacity needed to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be performed. GA-32 essentially allowed indoor businesses that were currently operating at 50% capacity to start operating at 75% capacity unless they were in an area with high hospitalizations. If in an area with high hospitalizations, those businesses may only operate at a maximum of 50% occupancy.

The Governor’s Orders define an “area of high hospitalizations” as any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15%. Unfortunately, the Trauma Service Area that includes Waxahachie, Trauma Service Area E, has been over the 15% threshold for seven consecutive days as of December 3, 2020. Therefore, the Governor’s limitations mentioned above pertaining to surgeries, medical procedures and occupancy limits are in effect and will remain in effect until our Trauma Service Area is below the 15% threshold for seven consecutive days.

More information can be found at the following websites:

htpps://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/press/EO-GA-31_hospital_capacity_COVID-19.pdf