LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock held a news conference regarding the 15 percent Coronavirus hospitalization rate.
Monday, Oct. 19, marked the first time the city of Lubbock surpassed the 15 percent COVID-19 hospitalization rate.
Governor Abbott has threatened restrictions to be placed on areas where the 15 percent hospitalization rate maintains for seven days or more.
City officials wanted to clarify the Governor’s orders 31 and 32. They stated they want to “pull back, not to shut down.”
We are now on day two of being above 15 percent. If we get to seven days, businesses currently at 75 percent capacity will go to 50 percent capacity and businesses at 50 percent capacity, which includes bars, will close again.
On Monday, October 19, 2020, Lubbock was at 15.83 percent capacity. On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, Lubbock was at 16.64 percent capacity.
This hospitalization rate is a warning, meaning we have to wear masks, wash hands and social distance, said Eddie McBride, President and CEO of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.
Officials say the city is not planning doing more than what the Governor has ordered, at this point.
It is not clear if the actions would be immediate if Lubbock were to have above 15 percent capacity for seven consecutive days. City officials say they are not wanting to find out, but will gather the Lubbock Economic Recovery task force.
To get out of the “pull back,” Lubbock would have to have seven consecutive days of below 15 percent capacity.
If we hit this trigger, this is not a local order, this is not the mayor. We are all operating under the Governor’s order," said Steve Massengale, Lubbock City Councilman Dist. 4.
“We all have personal responsibility in this pandemic,” said Massengale. “For someone to go out and think that it doesn’t apply to them or maybe they don’t believe or maybe what they’ve learned they learned their opinion on the pandemic on social media. This is serious.”
McBride says 200,000 masks will be distributed starting Thursday through the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. Details about the mask give away have not been released at the time of this report.
As of 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, the City of Lubbock confirmed 208 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), two recoveries, and eight additional deaths. The total number of cases in Lubbock County is 16,130: 2,700 active, 13,265 listed as recovered and 165 deaths.
Executive Order GA-32 allows certain venues to reopen at 75 percent capacity and allows certain counties to resume elective surgeries. Counties within Trauma Service Areas with high COVID-19 hospitalizations are excluded from these reopenings. Executive Order GA-32 defines high hospitalizations as at least 15 percent of a hospital’s total capacity being used for COVID-19 hospitalized patients for seven consecutive days.
DSHS updated its dashboard to reflect the changes implemented with Executive Order GA-32. The City of Lubbock will be reporting the hospitalization rate as reflected on the DSHS dashboard.