Bell County no longer considered high hospitalization area, bars can re-open, restaurants increase occupancy capacity

Posted at 1:55 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 00:10:04-05

BELL COUNTY — Bell County Judge David Blackburn received a letter from Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), that states Bell County is no longer considered to have a high COVID-19 hospitalization rate.

This change means area hospitals can now resume elective surgeries and certain Bell County venues can reopen to 75% capacity.

“It is very encouraging to see our COVID-19 hospitalization rates have dropped,” Judge Blackburn said. “I know there are many Bell County businesses that are eager to re-open to higher occupancy levels.”

Judge Blackburn has also submitted paperwork with Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to allow the reopening of bars and similar establishments in Bell County.

Dr. Hellerstedt’s letter confirms that for the last 7 days in Trauma Service Area L, of which Bell is a part, the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients has not exceeded 15% capacity.

Based on criteria laid out by Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 in October, Bell County no longer meets the definition of a high hospitalization area.