Governor Announces Expanded Occupancy Levels For Some Texas Businesses, Services

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Executive Order Re-Authorizes Elective Surgeries For Majority of Texas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott today announced that Texas is expanding occupancy levels for select businesses and services and re-authorizing elective surgeries for a majority of the state. Plans for both are outlined in 2 new Executive orders.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Executive Order No. GA-30 expands occupancy levels for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries.

 Executive Order No. GA-30 re-authorizes elective surgeries for a majority of the state of Texas allows 19 of the 22 hospital regions (Trauma Service Areas) in Texas to immediately resume elective surgeries while maintaining the threshold of beds for COVID-19 patients, Abbott announced.

Three of the 22 TSAs (S-Victoria, T-Laredo, and V-Lower Rio Grande Valley) must remain at 50 percent occupancy and continue postponing elective surgeries until the hospitalization metric requirements are met. These three TSAs contain the counties of Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca, Victoria, Jim Hogg, Webb, Zapata, Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy, according to Abbott.

On Sept. 21, the same regions may increase occupancy levels to 75 percent for restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, exercise facilities and classes, museums and libraries.

“With the medical advancements we have made and the personal hygiene practices we have adopted, Texans have shown that we can address both the health and safety concerns of COVID-19 while also taking careful, measured steps to restore the livelihoods that Texans depend on,” Abbott said. “Achieving both goals requires safe standards that contain COVID-19, emphasize protecting the most vulnerable, and establish clear metrics that the public can depend on. That is why today we have announced expanded occupancy standards for a variety of services.

The Governor also Sept. 17 announced new guidance related to visitations at nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state, that is to become effective on Sept. 24. Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s updated emergency rules will allow a designated essential caregiver to provide supportive, hands-on care to residents of eligible nursing, assisted living, and intermediate care facilities, home and community-based service providers, and inpatient hospice, provided the resident does not have COVID-19.

on the Texas Health and Human Services Commission website HHSC COVID-19 provider web page.  

Abbott also cautioned Texans that “a steady and significant decline in COVID-19 cases is not a sign to let up in our vigilance against the virus.”

“Instead, Texans must continue to heed the guidance of medical experts by wearing a mask, social distancing, and practicing proper sanitation strategies. By maintaining health and safety standards that are proven to mitigate COVID-19, we can continue to slow the spread while opening up the Texas economy,” Abbott said.

Author: Faith Huffman

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