BRYAN, TX — Right before the new year, Brazos Valley counties were restricted from performing elective surgeries, and opening businesses at 75% capacity after reporting seven consecutive days of COVID-19 hospitalizations ,exceeding, the threshold set forth by Governor Abbott in Executive Order GA-32.
“The Governor [Greg Abbott] doesn’t know the details of every little community, it’s an impossible job to do try to put a statewide statistic, but it’s the best that we got, and I certainly sympathize with that and understand so that rule is in effect,” says Bryan Mayor, Andrew Nelson.
According to the Brazos County Health District’s COVID-19 Dashboard, the county’s total ICU bed occupancy is 123%, the twentieth day of exceeding 100%. With 105 new confirmed cases reported on Wednesday, Mayor Nelson says, the local hospitals are remaining stable as they continue treating COVID-19 patients.
“The hospitals are doing okay, they are busy but they are stable, but the situations are improving every day right now, and not getting worse,” says Nelson.
Since Dec 28., Area N of the Texas Department of State Health Series COVID-19 dashboard, which includes Brazos County, and the surrounding counties in the Brazos Valley, is still exceeding the 15% threshold.
As of Monday, Area N is sitting at 18.8%.
“My understanding is that, the Governor’s order, does give enough flexibility for the leadership of our hospital systems to weigh public health, and to do elective surgeries, if it will ultimately best serve the public health. They are juggling that every day,” says Mayor Nelson.
County Judge Duane Peters has been very vocal in not agreeing with the Governor’s Executive orders in rolling back based on COVID-19 statistics. Judge Peters, Mayor Nelson, and College Station’s Mayor Karl Mooney meet regularly to discuss what is the best thing for Brazos County businesses.
“There is consensus that, a year into this, we realize that the role that the restaurants and bars have to play is a positive one, not just for the economy, but we’ve come to believe that even as we manage coronavirus we’re able to put some time of controls, safety, public health procedures, enforce social distancing a lot easier with businesses working with us to do,” says Mayor Nelson.
And while our numbers may be slowly getting better, day by day, local leaders are confident the vaccine will get us moving in the right direction.
“Every single day we are getting more vaccines into arms and the problem is getting easier each day not harder.” he added.
Mayor Nelson says, the Brazos County Vaccination Hub is on schedule to start vaccinating individuals in Phase 1B, starting February 1., at the Brazos Center.