Under restrictions

Rockwall County is among the rest of North Texas counties ordered to require reductions in the occupancy of many businesses because of rising numbers of people hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus.

Rockwall County is among the rest of North Texas counties ordered to require reductions in the occupancy of many businesses because of rising numbers of people hospitalized with the COVID-19 virus.

John Hellerstedt, M.D., Commissioner with the Texas Department of State Health Services, issued a notice Dec. 5 to the county judges in Trauma Service Area E, a 19-county region of North Texas, explaining that the area had reached the definition of high hospitalizations under Governor’s order GA-32; namely that is has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent.

“As a result, as of Dec. 5, 2020, all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries in all counties in Trauma Service Area E are required to return to maximum 50 percent occupancy levels,” Hellerstedt said.

The restrictions will be in place 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.

The Rockwall County Office of Emergency Management was reporting Wednesday that the percentage had risen to 16.6 percent again as of Tuesday.

The latest report from the department indicated there had been 3,717 oonfirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning, an increase of 440 cases in one week’s time. The department’s report also noted there had been 3,272 recoveries, representing 45 individuals within the previous seven days.

There had been 38 deaths reported in the county as a result of COVID-19 as of Wednesday morning.

The Rockwall County Office of Emergency Management reported there were 71 people in the county’s hospitals suffering from COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including 18 patients in the ICU.

The Texas Department of State Health Services indicated there had been 38,123 COVID-19 tests conducted in the county as of press time Wednesday.

Royse City High School, 700 FM 2642 and LakePointe Church, 701 E. Interstate 30 in Rockwall, are serving as static testing sites through the month of December.

The testing is free. There are no requirements for the test and participants are asked to register at GoGetTested.com.

Testing at the high school is scheduled 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Testing at LakePointe Church is scheduled seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and from 1-4 p.m. Sundays.

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