On Monday, Dec. 21, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reported that the 19 counties that comprise the Piney Woods Trauma Service Area (TSA-G) are now in an “area with high hospitalization,” as defined by Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32.
This designation as an “area with high hospitalization” means that additional restrictions, including limitations on capacity for restaurants and many business establishments, will be enforced for all counties within the TSA-G area. Under GA-32, except for specifically excepted business establishments, businesses that were previously allowed to operate up to 75 percent of their total listed occupancy must now operate at no more than 50 percent of the total listed occupancy. Additionally, under GA-32, people may not visit bars in “areas with high hospitalization” unless bars are allowed to continue operating drive-thru, pickup and delivery activities.
Trauma Service Area G includes the following counties: Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Franklin, Freestone, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Marion, Panola, Rains, Rusk, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood.
Under Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, “areas with high hospitalization” is defined as any “Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceed 15 percent….”
Business owners are encouraged to review the specific language of Executive Order GA-32 to determine whether the more restrictive provisions of the Governor’s Order for “areas with high hospitalization” apply to their business establishment or not. Questions regarding applicability of GA-32 should be directed to the Office of the Governor, the Texas Department of State Health Services, or the appropriate section of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
According to the GA-32 Executive Order, the heightened restrictions imposed by Governor Abbott for “areas with high hospitalization” will only return to the original level of restrictions when “the Trauma Service Area has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.”
GA-32 and related hospitalization rate information from DSHS
Office of Texas Governor Gregg Abbott
COVID-19 information from DSHS
Local COVID-19 information from NET Health
COVID-19 information from City of Longview