The city’s event committee met Tuesday and decided events that had previously been approved would now be cancelled, including Ladies Night Out and the Festival of Lights & Christmas on the Square due to the healthcare system being overwhelmed at this time with high hospitalization capacities and drastic increases in cases of COVID-19 in our region.
Levelland is part of the 22 counties that make up the Lubbock Trauma Service Area B (TSA B). When the committee met to discuss these events on Tuesday afternoon, the percentage of hospitalizations from COVID-19 in our region was over 21 percent. Tuesday also marked the eighth day for our region to have 15 percent or higher hospital capacity from COVID-19 patients. In Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32, after seven consecutive days of exceeding the 15 percent threshold, certain re-openings would be scaled back. As a result, effective October 26, 2020, all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and all libraries were required to return a maximum 50 percent occupancy level and bars to close. In addition, all licensed hospitals in the TSA B were required to discontinue elective surgeries as set forth in Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-31.
“We discussed the events at length on Tuesday, none of us want to have to cancel these things! We know how important they are for our community, for health and well-being, for the economy, etc. But the reality is that our numbers have quadrupled in a very short period of time. We would rather cancel events that might help lessen the burden on our hospitals than have the governor step in and close our businesses and schools again,” says Missy Passmore, Main Street Manager.
Levelland Mayor Barbra Pinner has also stated she will not be approving any more outdoor events exceeding 10 people until hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients drops below 15 percent.
Once the TSA B has had seven consecutive days in which the number of hospitalized patients as a percentage of hospital capacity is 15 percent or less these additional restrictions will be lifted or if for a 14-day period there are no more than 30 confirmed new COVID-19 cases the County Judge can do an attestation to the State and reopen businesses back to 75 percent and 50 percent to bars. At that time the Mayor has indicated she would consider outdoor events.
“It is important that our region as a whole get control of the number of COVID-19
hospitalizations to ensure that the Governor does not step in and do additional closures which would be even more detrimental to our local economy,” says Erik Rejino, City Manager.