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Lubbock businesses given green light by state to increase capacity after week of low hospitalization rates

Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 4:16 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a letter to Mayor Dan Pope and Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish Tuesday, saying Trauma Service Area B, which includes Lubbock and 21 other counties, is no longer under high hospitalizations and can ease restrictions on businesses back to occupancy levels described in Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order issued in October.

The letter states as “high hospitalization” 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 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, your Trauma Service Area, TSA B, no longer meets the definition of a high hospitalization area and so may reopen to the higher levels allowable under GA-32.”

This includes bars at 50 percent and restaurants and businesses at 75 percent capacity effective immediately.

Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope and Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish attributed the lowering of COVID-19 hospitalizations to hard work by citizens.

“Well I think it’s good news and remember, the impact is more on restaurants, bars, amusement parks, water parks, swimming pools, libraries, water pools, museums, so I think it’s good news,” said Mayor Pope.

“In no way does this mean that we can go do things without taking the precautions that we have learned over the past year.”

“I am tired of seeing people die from this disease. And I do see it every day. As I am the Lubbock County Judge, I also oversee the medical examiner’s office, which is the morgue. And so I know how many bodies are being taken to our morgue every single day,” said Judge Parrish.

You can find data on hospitalizations at: dshs.texas.gov/ga32/

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