Gov. Greg Abbott loosens coronavirus restrictions for restaurants and other businesses in most regions of Texas

Sep 17, 2020 by

9.17.20 – Texas Tribune

“Gov. Greg Abbott loosens coronavirus restrictions for restaurants and other businesses in most regions of Texas”

By Patrick Svitek

https://tinyurl.com/y2y3y2o7

[COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER:  Tex. Rep. Steve Toth and other legislators have been trying to get Gov. Abbott and the public health agencies to focus on the number of COVID hospitalizations instead of on the number of cases since the same person can be tested multiple times for COVID; and each time the same person’s test is being counted as a “case.”  

Also, the state’s data on cases has been terribly backlogged; however, that data was still being reported as “new” cases which was not accurate.]

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“Gov. Greg Abbott loosens coronavirus restrictions for restaurants and other businesses in most regions of Texas”

By Patrick Svitek

https://tinyurl.com/y2y3y2o7

Excerpts from this article:

Finally Gov. Abbott announced today that his decisions will be based upon the hospitalization numbers. His directive today allows most businesses 75% capacity and nursing home visitors (with certain restrictions.)  Below the Tex. Tribune article is a summary of Rep. Toth’s 9.16.20 COVID newsletter

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that most of Texas will be able to loosen some coronavirus restrictions, including letting many businesses increase their capacity to 75%, as soon as Monday.

The standard that Abbott unveiled applies to the 19 out of 22 hospital regions in the state where coronavirus patients make up less than 15% of all hospitalizations. In those 19 regions, businesses that have been open at 50% capacity will be permitted to expand to 75% capacity — a group of places that includes retail stores, restaurants and office buildings. Hospitals in those regions will also be allowed to offer normal elective procedures again, and nursing homes can reopen for visitations under certain standards.

The three hospital regions excluded from the new reopening stage are in the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo and Victoria. Abbott said those regions’ hospitalizations are still “in the danger zone.”

At the same time, Abbott said the state was not yet ready to reopen bars, saying they are “nationally recognized as COVID-spreading locations.” He stressed, though, that the state is looking for ways to let bars reopen safely.

some of those figures have not returned to the level they were at before the early-summer spike, and there have been regular questions about the reliability of the state data. On Monday, state health officials announced they were changing the way they calculate the positivity rate — the ratio of cases to tests — an acknowledgment that the previous method was flawed.

…When it comes to further reopenings, he emphasized the state will consider all data but “rely most heavily” on hospitalizations, calling that metric the “most important information about the severity of COVID in any particular region.” It is also the “most accurate information available on a daily basis,” Abbott said.

To that end, the regions that will be allowed to further reopen must have seen coronavirus hospitalizations makes up less than 15% of all hospitalizations for seven consecutive days, according to the governor. If coronavirus hospitalizations rise above the 15% threshold for seven consecutive days in a region, a “course correction is going to be needed,” Abbott said, suggesting the solution would be a reversal of the area’s latest reopenings.

In addition to stores, restaurants and offices, the business that will be able to shift to 75% capacity on Monday include manufacturers, museums, libraries and gyms.

As for elective procedures, Abbott said the restoration is effective immediately. In early July, also as part of Abbott’s response to the statewide surge, Abbott expanded a ban on elective surgeries to cover more than 100 counties across much of the state.

The new rules governing nursing-home visitation go into effect Sept. 24. They apply to “all nursing-home facilities, assisted-living centers, state-supported living centers and other long-term care facilities,” Abbott said.

After Abbott’s news conference, the state Health and Human Services Commission detailed the new visitation rules. They allow residents to designate up to two “essential family caregivers” who will be trained and then permitted to to go inside a resident’s room for a scheduled visit. The designated caregivers do not have to socially distance from the resident, but only one is allowed to visit at a time.

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“Tex. Public Health Reported Old Cases of COVID As New Cases”

From Tex. Rep. Steve Toth

9.16.20

https://mailchi.mp/stevetothfortexas/today-is-the-day-8315709?e=00a999e4a2

SUMMARY FROM DONNA GARNER:

Yesterday in Montgomery County, Texas, of the 166 “new cases,” 109 were from tests conducted before August 30. 

MONTGOMERY CO. ONLY HAD 57 NEW CASES YESTERDAY!  This is the good news that the media should be reporting.

What happened in Texas is that the state’s system could not keep up with the volume of tests being sent by public labs, private labs, and hospitals. This backlog reached 700,000 tests until a system upgrade on August 1, 2020 allowed the state to process a higher volume of Covid-19 test results. 

I wasn’t surprised to learn that government systems fail.  What was shocking was the way the cases from the backlog were reported.

LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS REPORTED THESE OLD CASES AS “NEW.”  For example, 82% of Harris County’s new cases reported on September 9, 2020 were not from September tests.

Today the headlines should read that COVID is rapidly diminishing. This misinformation on COVID is what we’ve been battling the entire time.

The news media and public health departments have the right to their own opinions BUT NOT THEIR OWN FACTS.

Texas Cases vs. Hospitalizations Over Time

May 1

12 hospitalizations per 100 

September 16

4 hospitalizations per 100

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