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McLennan County restaurants, retail stores return to 50% occupancy levels, bars lose opt-in certification due to hospital capacity rates

CORONAVIRUS IN MCLENNAN COUNTY
Posted at 5:05 PM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 15:07:06-05

WACO, TX — McLennan County has ordered all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, exercise facilities and classes, museums and libraries in the area to return to maximum 50% occupancy level due to local hospital capacity rates.

McLennan County posted the announcement on their website saying:

"As of November 29, 2020, Pursuant to Executive Order GA 32 issued by Governor Abbot:

For the past 7 days, the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients in Trauma Service Area M as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, making it an area of high hospitalizations.

As a result, all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, exercise facilities and classes, museums and libraries in McLennan County are required to return to maximum 50 percent occupancy levels."

The opt in certification allowing bars to operate also must be de-certified due to the hospitalization rate, according to the announcement.

All licensed hospitals in the Trauma Service Area are required to discontinue elective surgeries as set forth in Executive Order GA-31, according to a DSHS letter sent to McLennan County Judge Scott Felton.

"The Health and Human Services Commission, the agency responsible for regulating hospitals in Texas, is separately providing notice directly to affected hospitals notifying them of the requirement to discontinue elective surgeries located in Trauma Service Area M," the letter said.

All counties in Trauma Service Area M are required to return to maximum 50 percent occupancy levels, except in any county that separately qualifies for the greater occupancy levels because it has minimal cases of COVID-19 under the Department of State Health Services attestation process, according to the letter.

Trauma Service Area M includes the following counties:
• Bosque County
• Falls County
• Hill County
• Limestone County
• McLennan County

To view the letter DSHS sent to McLennan County Judge Felton, click here.

This story is developing.