As new coronavirus cases and related hospitalizations surge across the country, Dallas County restaurants will “immediately” have to limit their capacity back to 50 percent.
Dallas County judge Clay Jenkins announced in a tweet on Thursday afternoon that the county has officially surpassed the 15 percent hospital utilization threshold outlined in Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that went into effect on October 14. Prior to the rollback, restaurants are allowed to seat diners at up to 75 percent of their typical occupancy.
Bars, which have not been allowed to reopen in Dallas County, will remain closed. Other businesses impacted by the rollback include gyms, museums, retail stores, and office facilities.
Today is the 7th day our region has been above the 15% of all available beds occupied by COVID19 patients threshold. Pursuant to @GovAbbott GA-32, once today’s numbers are updated on the @TexasDSHS website (tonight) our region will be subject immediately to a decrease....— Clay Jenkins (@JudgeClayJ) December 3, 2020
Gov. Abbott has repeatedly said that further statewide shutdowns are not in the cards, but the worsening numbers are an automatic trigger for the restrictions. According to a press release from Jenkins’s office, the reduction will take effect immediately and stay in effect until the county’s hospital capacity falls below 15 percent for 7 consecutive days.
On Thursday, Dallas County reported 2,122 newly identified cases of COVID-19.