First time ever, Lubbock area goes over the 15-percent COVID red line set by governor

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — On Monday, for the first time since the start of COVID-19 in Lubbock, the percentage of COVID-positive patients in Lubbock area hospitals exceeded 15 percent.

Lubbock area in this case means Trauma Service Area B. It encompasses Lubbock and 22 counties.

If the COVID-positive rate (among hospitalized patients) remains over 15 percent for seven days in a row, the governor will roll back certain aspects of economic reopening. That rollback would impact all 22 counties in TSA B.

As of Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services listed the following percentages for area B.

  • October 13: 13.12%
  • October 14: 13.32%
  • October 15: 14.29%
  • October 16: 14.18%
  • October 17: 14.42%
  • October 18: 14.03%
  • October 19: 15.83%

Also as of Monday, DSHS listed the following statistics for area B.

Trauma Service Area B

  • 2020 Population Estimate – 513,580
  • Total Staffed Hospital Beds – 1,541
  • Available Hospital Beds – 380
  • Available ICU Beds – 19
  • Available Ventilators – 191
  • Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 Patients Currently In Hospital – 244
  • Total Hospitalizations – 1,035
  • Total Staffed Inpatient Beds – 1,415

The City of Lubbock Health Department tracks numbers for Lubbock and Lubbock County – not all of region B. Nevertheless, even just for the city and county, hospital capacity has come down in a trend since April.

Lubbock (and the county) had 192 COVID patients as of Monday. That number has steadily increased since the first week of September.

Lubbock (and the county) reported 282 new cases on Monday for a total of 15,908 cases. Of those, 13,263 recovered, and 157 died.

Last week, Dr. Craig Rhyne warned that Lubbock is “dangerously close” to shutdown measures from the office of Governor Abbott. The COVID-positive percentage has increased since then.

In El Paso (TSA I), when the rate stayed up over 15 percent for seven consecutive days, business restrictions were put in place.

Non-essential businesses in area I were not allowed to go above 50 percent capacity, restaurants were limited to drive-through and take out, visits to managed care facilities such as nursing homes were cut off, certain sporting events were restricted, gatherings at people’s homes were not permitted and other restrictions were put in place.

As of Monday, the COVID-positive rate among hospital patients was 22.7 percent in area I.

Governor Abbott dispatched additional medical personnel and medical supplies last week to Lubbock and Amarillo.

Region A (Amarillo and surrounding counties) went up over 15 percent on both Sunday and Monday according to data from DSHS.

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