Area hospitals have not exceeded capacity

Published 5:10 pm Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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PRESS RELEASE — Executive Order GA-32 defines 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 all hospital capacity exceeds 15%. The formula for this metric: Lab Confirmed COVID-19 Patients currently in the Hospital divided by Total Hospital Capacity. Our Trauma Service Area {TSA-R) comprises 9 counties: Brazoria, Chamber, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton and Orange.

For the past two days, it has been reported that we have exceeded the 15% hospital capacity threshold. On a conference call with DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, we were given statistical data which puts our Trauma Service Area lower than that threshold according to information that has not been available locally. Based on this data, received this morning, the governor’s executive order to reduce building capacity will not be implemented at this time. Keep in mind that determinations are not based on individual counties, it is based on trauma service areas. We will receive written notification from the state when we have exceeded 15% for 7 days.

TSA-R does not currently meet the 7 day requirement but we foresee the possibility in the future based on current trends. If measures are put in place to decrease capacity, levels must be below 15% for 7 days to increase capacity.

COVID is real. Masks, social distancing and hand washing are effective. It is imperative that our residents continue to wear masks – they serve as a “vaccine on your face”. 80% of spread can be traced to folks with little or no symptoms.