LUBBOCK, Texas — Sunday marked the seventh day in a row that Lubbock and surrounding counties exceeded 15 percent (or more) of hospital patients that were COVID-positive.
The Texas Department of State Health Services listed Trauma Service Area B as 19.9 percent COVID-19 positive Sunday. TSA-B is a 22-county region around Lubbock.
By the terms of Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order (GA-32), all businesses that had been open to 75 percent (with exceptions) will revert to 50 percent capacity. Bars will be ordered to close for in-person customers but can still use drive-through, pickup or delivery. There will also be restrictions on non-emergency surgeries and medical procedures.
At the time of this report, no official pronouncement had yet come from the city, county or the office of the governor.
Cities and counties can impose restrictions on outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people. And the governor can add further restrictions at any time, according to the provisions of GA-32.
GA-32 took effect statewide on October 14. But the provisions for reduced business capacity had not applied to Lubbock and TSA-B before now.
As of Saturday, the Lubbock Health Department (reporting for both the city and Lubbock County) recorded 176 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic (according to a news release from the city).
There were, as of Saturday, 2,451 active cases. Of the 17,141 total cases, 14,515 recovered.
On Saturday, DSHS reported 341 available hospital beds in TSA-B. DSHS reported 16 available ICU beds and 199 available ventilators.
The Los Angeles Times on Saturday said of Lubbock, “Lubbock — a rural county of 310,000 — has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the country.”
The Times said Friday set a national single-day record for new infections.
“And nowhere is it more prevalent than in Texas, which has more infected college students than any other state in the country, 17,133, according to a New York Times database, and Texas Tech itself, with more infected students than any other school statewide,” the LA Times said.