RISING COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATIONS REDUCE OCCUPANCY LIMITS IN BUDA, HAYS COUNTY
BUDA, TX - JAN. 10, 2021 - New restrictions are taking effect in Buda and Hays County tonight (Sunday, Jan. 10 )at midnight after seven consecutive days of rising COVID-19 hospitalizations. As outlined in State Executive Orders GA-31 and GA-32, bars must close, elective surgeries may need to be rescheduled, and many businesses must reduce their occupancy to 50%.
How does this impact local businesses?
· Bars - Bars that are not operating as a restaurant under Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) rules must close. However, those businesses may continue to offer drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options for food and drinks to the extent authorized by TABC.
· Other businesses - Any business establishment that otherwise would have a 75% occupancy limit must operate at up to only 50%. This applies to retail establishments, restaurants, bars that are operating as restaurants, office buildings, manufacturers, museums, libraries, gyms, and fitness facilities and classes.
· Surgeries - Elective surgeries, as defined in State Executive Order GA-31, must reschedule unless they “would not deplete any hospital capacity needed to cope with the COVID-19 disaster.”
In addition, Governor Abbott’s GA-32 states that bars or similar establishments that are not restaurants cannot operate indoors on premises, but may offer drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options as authorized by the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC). The occupancy limit applies only to indoor and not outdoor areas, events, or establishments, although social distancing and other safety protocols must be followed.
The following activities/services are not impacted by these occupancy changes:
· Religious services
· Local government operations
· Childcare services
· Public or private schools
· Youth camps
· Adult or youth recreational sports
· Drive-in movies, concerts and similar events
· Person care/beauty establishments with at least six feet of social distancing between workstations (see full list in Executive Order GA-32
· Service listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce
The Governor’s State Executive Order GA-32 to reopen bars and increase occupancy limits, contained an important exception. If COVID-19 hospitalizations reached certain levels in trauma service areas (TSAs), restrictions in those areas would increase again.
Restrictions are triggered when a local TSA has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients exceeds 15% of total hospital capacity. Buda is located in TSA O, which encompasses Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, San Saba, Travis, and Williamson counties.
View the Texas Trauma Service Area map
How long will these additional restrictions last?
These additional restrictions will remain in place until Trauma Service Area O has seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID hospitalized patients is 15% or less.
· COVID-19 Hotline - Hays County residents can call a hotline for answers to their non-emergency COVID-19 questions. Operators are available in English and Spanish. The hotline number is 512-393-5525. This hotline is for answers to health questions about COVID-19 - safety practices, symptoms, quarantining, testing, etc.
· COVID-19 Information for Hays County Residents - Please visit the Hays County Website COVID-19 page for additional information on resources/information.
· Texas Department of State Health Services - Information on Executive Order GA-32 and its impact on local counites.
· Texas DSHS Hospitalization Dashboard - The “Hospitals - Regional” tab shows daily hospitalization data for Texas Trauma Service Areas (TSAs). Buda is located in in TSA O.
· Executive Order GA-31
Executive Order GA-32