Executive Order GA-32 includes updated formula on how hospital capacity is calculated


AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — There has been an update by the Texas Department of State Health Services, regarding how total hospital capacity is determined related to COVID-19.

Just last Friday, it was reported that Amarillo’s 25-county region, better known as Trauma Service A’s, hospitalization rate was sitting at over 18%. As of today, October 12th, that hospitalization rate sits at 10.44%.

With Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, came an updated formula on how total hospital capacity is determined, related to COVID-19.

To calculate this metric, health officials will use: Lab confirmed COVID-19 patients currently in the hospital divided by total hospital capacity.

The lab confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital are individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, by molecular test. This includes pediatric and adult COVID-19 patients.

Total hospital capacity is the number of staffed available and occupied beds.

The previously used formula to calculate how total hospital capacity, related to COVID-19, was determined was: Lab confirmed COVID-19 patients currently in the hospital divided by total hospitalizations.

If seven consecutive days had passed with the Trauma Service Area’s Hospitalization Rate above 15%, this could have had a negative impact on local businesses.

Ben E. Keith Foods Chef, Bud Andersen, said “when they are not getting as much business, it effects our business. But like a lot of companies, we have had to pivot and do a lot of things: gloves, sanitizer, those sort of things.”

Andersen said when someone in the community is affected by COVID, it can effect everyone.

“What people don’t understand about the whole thing is it’s a big circle. And everybody kind of takes care of everybody, but when one piece of that kind of gets notched out by COVID… For whatever reason, whether they can’t produce the product, whether they can’t ship the product, our guys… I’m very proud of our branch for a big specific reason, we didn’t blink. We just kept doing exactly what we do everyday,” said Andersen.

The previous formula used to calculate total hospital capacity officially expires when GA-32 takes effect on October 14th.

Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 also defines high hospitalizations as any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days, in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of all hospital capacity exceeds 15%.

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