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COVID-19 hospitalizations have been ticking up in Lubbock County. With Texas bars primed to open at 50 percent capacity on Wednesday, October 14th, the question remains: can the coronavirus continue to be contained to an acceptable rate?

KAMC News reports that on Monday, October 12th, the City of Lubbock confirmed 160 hospital patients are currently being treated for the coronavirus at University Medical Center and Covenant Health. That’s a reported increase of 66 patients since September 28th.

While 108 of those patients are floor patients, 52 are currently in intensive care. The CEO of Covenant Health, Chris Lancaster, told KAMC News that although they are seeing more COVID-19 patients, between 30 and 40 percent are from other hospital jurisdictions and they still have about 90 beds available. UMC said they have 70 more beds.

According to Texas governor Greg Abbott, business reopening and capacity limits are highly contingent on if the percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations can remain below 15 percent in a given Trauma Service Area.

Texas Health and Human Services currently lists 22 Trauma Service Areas. In Texas Trauma Service Area B, which includes hospitals in 22 counties including Lubbock County, COVID-19 cases make up 12.4 percent of all hospitalizations.

Recent data shows that Texas Trauma Service Area B has seen a steady increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations since the beginning of October 2020. The percentage of COVID-19 hospitalizations was 7.4 percent on October 1st, but that has steadily increased to its highest rate yet of 12.4 percent on October 12th.

Trauma Service Area A, which includes the Texas Panhandle and Amarillo, has also seen a steady increase of COVID-19 hospitalizations -- jumping from 5.8 percent back on October 1st to a high of 11.4 percent on October 12th.

Per Governor Abbott’s orders, if hospitalization rates increase above 15 percent for more than 7 days, the affected Trauma Service Area could being to see reductions in business capacities and even potential business closings. Only Trauma Service Area I, which serves El Paso, currently has a COVID hospitalization rate above 15 percent.

READ MORE: Inspiring Stories From the Coronavirus Pandemic


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