Nearly three-quarters of Texans live in regions with very low COVID-19 hospitalization rates, according to a new analysis from the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The data show that fully 72% of Texans are in Trauma Service Areas where less than 7% of hospital patients have lab–confirmed cases of COVID-19, including Houston, San Antonio, and Austin which are all under 5%. The Dallas/Fort Worth area has a 6.3% hospitalization rate.
The rate has been followed closely by public officials because it signifies the seriousness and magnitude of the public health challenge from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a press conference yesterday, Gov. Greg Abbott tied the declining hospitalization rate to efforts to reopen the Texas economy and allow most businesses to expand occupancy rates to 75%. Just 6% of Texans live in regions that exceed the Governor’s hospitalization rate threshold of 15%.
“The vast majority of Texans live in areas that are successfully managing the disease,” said TPPF’s Executive Director Kevin Roberts. “Our public health institutions are not being overrun and we continue to see reductions or stability in the active case and fatality rate. The facts in front of us no longer justify the harsh regulations that threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of Texans. While specific hot spots linger and Texas should deploy targeted resources to take care of vulnerable populations, the overwhelming majority of Texans are not facing an emergency and should be allowed to get back to work.”
Roberts added: “The Governor’s metric points the way toward what Texas needs: a clear path to a full reopening. We commend the Governor for identifying the proper metric for assessing COVID-19’s real impact, as opposed to uncertain and changeable positivity rates and case numbers. The hospitalization rate is an objective measurement of health-system capacity that looks toward ensuring Texans may get the care they need. In doing this, Governor Abbott has clearly illuminated the path to reopening Texas communities, restoring Texas jobs, and reviving the Texas economy.
“We urge him to follow this excellent step forward with the logical next step, directly implied and clearly communicated by his plan: a definitive path to full reopening.”
The Texas Public Policy Foundation will host a livestream event on Monday to discuss Texas’ success in dealing with COVID-19 and the pathway to fully reopen the Texas economy. Hosted by Roberts, the event features Dr. Ben Edwards of Veritas Medical, as well as TPPF experts Chuck DeVore and Dr. Vance Ginn. To RSVP, click here.