LUBBOCK, Texas — Over 1,000 people signed a petition started Tuesday that asked Governor Greg Abbott to consider taking several steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Lubbock as well as West Texas as a whole.
The petition asked the governor to put specific enforceable mandates in place to slow the spread and alleviate the pressure currently put on Lubbock hospitals.
“Since Lubbock is the medical hub providing tertiary care for the rural communities of our region,” the petition said, “the escalating crisis affects our ability to care for Texans in small rural communities.”
The mandates outlined in the petition included requiring masks in both indoor and outdoor public spaces and restricting indoor and outdoor gatherings to 10 people or less.
The petition said the main goal of the mandates is to lower the COVID-19 hospital occupancy in the region to under 15 percent. Trauma Service Area B, which includes Lubbock and 22 other nearby counties, reported Wednesday that 28.71 percent of all hospital capacity was occupied by coronavirus patients.
The last time the percentage of COVID-19 patients to overall hospital capacity in the region was under 15 percent was October 18.
“[Staff in Lubbock hospitals] are demoralized, tired and frustrated facing what seems like a never-ending battle that cannot be won with no end in sight,” the petition said. “The workforce shortages that result will affect our ability to provide medical care in West Texas, long after the pandemic is over.”