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Shelby County Businesses, Restaurants Capacity Increase and COVID Vaccine Update

Shelby County Businesses, Restaurants Capacity Increase and COVID Vaccine Update
County Judge Allison Harbison has received a letter from Dr. John Hellerstedt
(Commissioner of TX Dept. of Health Services). The letter states that under Governor
Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 which states:
Any Trauma Service Area (TSA) that has had seven consecutive days in which
the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital
capacity exceeds 15 percent, until such time as the Trauma Service Area has
seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized
patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is 15 percent or less.
Under the criteria laid out in GA-32 TSA G which includes Shelby County, Shelby
County no longer meets the definition of a high hospitalization area and may reopen to
the higher levels allowable under GA-32. During the time which TSA G COVID-19
hospitalization rate was above 15%, restaurants and businesses were limited to 50%
capacity. Now that TSA G has been below the 15 COVID-19 hospitalization rate for
more than 7 days, businesses and restaurants in Shelby County are allowed to resume
operations at 75% capacity.
Shelby County has to date, received limited supplies of COVID vaccine. There are 3
registered COVID vaccine providers in Shelby County and all three currently have
hundreds of individuals on their waiting lists to receive the vaccine. Vaccine providers
are currently still administering COVID vaccine only to individuals in category:
* 1A: Front line health care workers and long-term care facilities
* 1B-People 65 & older or people 16 and older with a health condition that increases risk
of severe COVID-19 illnesses.
The County Judge and Emergency Management Coordinator receive a weekly email
(usually on Friday) from DSHS which includes the state-wide vaccine allotments for the
following week. Shelby County was again, not on the allotment list for this week. This
is not an issue affecting only Shelby County but also affecting many rural counties. The
majority of vaccine allotments have been going to the state’s larger vaccination hubs but
hopefully as more vaccine becomes available to the state then rural counties will see an
increase in vaccine allotments.
Judge Harbison has sent a request to the DSHS 4/5N Regional Director requesting that
Shelby County receive a larger allotment of COVID vaccine in order to assist the local
vaccine providers in getting more Shelby County residents vaccinated. A mass
vaccination clinic plan has also been submitted for Shelby County. That request was sent
approximately 3 weeks ago and we have yet to receive a reply to that request.