Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021
1234567891011121314151617181920
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

COVID-19 hospitalizations trigger 50% capacity limits in Austin and surrounding areas

COVID-19 hospitalizations trigger 50% capacity limits in Austin and surrounding areas

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Sunday Texas' Trauma Service Area O, which includes 2.3 million people in the Austin area, reached the COVID-19 hospitalization rate which automatically triggered additional restrictions for the area under state guidelines.

Under the new restrictions, which went into effect Sunday, businesses and retail establishments in the Austin area must reduce their operations to 50% occupancy. Per state rules, hospitals must also stop elective surgeries must across the area.

Under an order issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in October 2020, the 50% occupancy limitations go into effect when more than 15% of overall hospitalizations in any trauma area are COVID-19 hospitalizations for seven consecutive days. Trauma Service Area O, which includes Austin, has exceeded that 15% threshold from January 3 through January 9.

On Sunday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reports Trauma Service Area O has 18.8% of its total hospitalizations coming from COVID-19 patients. As a result, most venues in the area must now reduce occupancy levels to 50% and hospitals must stop elective surgeries.

The counties included in the Trauma Service Area O occupancy restrictions are:

  • Bastrop
  • Blanco
  • Burnet
  • Caldwell
  • Fayette
  • Hays
  • Llano
  • Travis
  • Williamson

The Department of State Health Services says the following counties in Trauma Service Area O have qualified for and submitted an attestation to continue operating at 75%:

  • Lee
  • San Saba

A letter from DSHS Sunday explained that as a result of the seven day COVID-19 hospitalization rate in Trauma Service Area O, all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, libraries are required to return to occupancy levels 50% or lower.

ICU capacity

The updated numbers on Sunday from DSHS in Trauma Service Area O indicate that for the entire region, only 16 available intensive care unit beds remain.

On Saturday, the Austin Public Health dashboard for the five-county area around Austin tracked 180 COVID-19 ICU admissions. Austin Public Health has been told by area hospitals that they have 200 ICU beds available for COVID-19 patients specifically.

Dr. Jordan Weingarten, the Medical Director of the Adult Intensive Care Unit at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, explained that his ICU has been affected by the large numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations the Austin area has been seeing recently.

From Weingarten's view, the surge the Austin area is seeing now is different the one the area saw this summer.

"The last time the hospitals were trying to limit which hospitals had COVID patients, so all of the COVID patients within Ascension at that time were within just two hospitals, now Ascension is spreading them out over multiple hospitals," he said, explaining that while Austin is seeing more hospitalizations now than ever before, this spreading out of patients means that any given hospital "maybe not quite as full as they were before. "

Weingarten expects it is going to be weeks before the additional restrictions from the governor's orders have an impact on Austin's COVID-19 hospitalizations.

"We haven't even gotten into the post New Year's surge that we expect," he noted.

While Weingarten is glad COVID-19 vaccines are available (he has already received both of his doses), he noted the vaccine won't tamp down surge of COVID-19 the Austin area is seeing at this moment.

"This is a highly communicable disease," Weingarten said. "The spread of COVID is going to continue for weeks and months if people do not modify their behaviors, it's just a simple fact."

At this point, he said, "we are still able to take care of patients safely within our hospitals."

However, Weingarten added, "the numbers that we have now are definitely stressing the system and we have finite resources."

"At this time we have adequate numbers of ventilators and adequate numebrs of beds, but again those are finite resources, and if the numbers continue to increase at the exponential rate they have been, at some point, we will run out of those things," he said, adding that is a fate he hopes hospital systems can avoid.

Strain across Texas

The update Sunday means Austin is now joining the major municipalities across Texas on the state's list of areas with high hospitalization numbers. As COVID-19 hospitalizations surge statewide, Trauma Service Areas in Amarillo, Abilene, Lubbock, Dallas/Fort Worth, Paris, Longview, Lufkin, El Paso, Belton, Killeen, El Paso, Waco, Bryan/ College Station, San Antonio, Houston, Galveston, Victoria, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley are also on the state's list for these added restrictions.





Read also

Phil Spector claimed he hired six men to assassinate ex wife Ronnie on stage & said he’d keep her in ‘gold coffin’

Mets won’t be filling position for ousted GM Jared Porter

Conor McGregor’s five keys to victory in UFC 257 rematch with Dustin Poirier on Fight Island




News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here