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COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: December 4, 2020

Rising COVID-19 hospitalizations reduce occupancy limits in Allen, DFW

New restrictions are taking effect in Allen and hundreds of other North Texas cities on December 4 after seven consecutive days of rising COVID-19 hospitalizations. Bars must close, elective surgeries may need to be rescheduled, and many businesses must reduce their occupancy to 50% as outlined in State Executive Orders GA-31 and GA-32

How does this impact local businesses?

  • Bars - Any establishment which has more than 51% of gross receipts from the sale of alcohol must close to in-person dining. Drive-through, pickup and delivery options for food and drinks are allowed to the extent provided by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 
  • Other businesses - Any business establishment that otherwise would have a 75% occupancy limit must operate at up to only 50%. 
  • Surgeries - Elective surgeries, as defined in Executive Order GA-31, must reschedule unless they “would not deplete any hospital capacity needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.” 

The following activities/services are not impacted by these occupancy changes: 

  • Religious services
  • Local government operations
  • Childcare services
  • Public or private schools
  • Youth camps
  • Adult or youth recreational sports
  • Drive-in movies, concerts and similar events
  • Personal care/beauty establishments with at least six feet of social distancing between workstations (see full list in Executive Order GA-32)
  • Services listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

What changed?

The Executive Order to reopen bars and increase occupancy limits, signed by Governor Greg Abbott in October, contained an important exception. If COVID-19 hospitalizations reached certain levels in local trauma service areas (TSAs), restrictions in those areas would increase once again.

Restrictions are triggered when a local TSA has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients exceeds 15% of total hospital capacity. Allen is located in TSA E, which encompasses nineteen counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

COVID-19 hospitalization rates in TSA E first crossed the 15% mark on November 27. December 3 marked the seventh consecutive day above the 15% threshold in TSA E. View the Texas Trauma Service Area map.

Six other TSAs have already hit the 15% threshold, including those servicing Amarillo, Lubbock, El Paso, Midland/Odessa, Waco and Laredo.

How long will these additional restrictions last?

Restrictions will be eased when TSAs reach seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is below 15%.

Where can I find more information?

  • COVID-19 Help Line - Allen Fire Department provides a COVID-19 Help Line to help Allen residents and businesses with questions about new restrictions and protective measures. It is monitored from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., 7 days a week and should not be used for urgent medical needs. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.
  • Texas Department of State Health Services – Information on Executive Order GA-32 and its impact on local counties.
  • Texas DSHS Hospitalization Dashboard – The “Hospitals – Regional” tab shows daily hospitalization data for Texas Trauma Service Areas (TSAs). Allen is located in TSA E.
  • Executive Order GA-31 relating to hospital capacity during the COVID-19 disaster
  • Executive Order GA-32 relating to the continued response of the COVID-19 disaster

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