Houston closes bars, limits restaurants as hospital intensive care units remain overcapacity


Top line

Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, has been subjected to a new set of Covid restrictions that immediately shut down bars and put a new cap on restaurant capacity as coronavirus hospitalizations continue to reach new levels records across Texas.


Bars are closed throughout the city and surrounding areas and restaurant capacity has been reduced to 50% from the 75% threshold it was at after seven consecutive days of increased hospitalizations for Covid.

The restrictions will remain in place until Covid patients represent less than 15% of all hospitalizations in the Houston area for seven consecutive days – at this time, Covid patients represent about 20% of all hospitalizations.

The hospitals at Texas Medical Center in Houston, which is the largest medical complex in the world, are running out of normal intensive care space and are operating at full capacity.

Texas Medical Center announcement On Tuesday, he was once again postponing some elective procedures to prioritize resources for Covid-19 patients, a decision he also made during Texas’ previous Covid peak over the summer.

Crucial quote

“Honestly, this is just another step on the road to disaster unless all of us take action,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo tweeted after the new restrictions were announced on Tuesday. . “We cannot count on a small decline in the occupation. Do your part.

Large number

13.308. This is the number of hospitalizations for coronavirus Texas reported Tuesday, the third day in a row the state set a new record. Hospitalizations are now well above the record highs recorded over the summer, which peaked at less than 11,000.

Key context

Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Texas have reached record highs recently, surpassing the summer highs that were among the national records at the time. However, the situation has never been more serious in the state than it is now. According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, two of the state’s 22 hospital regions, representing a population of 667,307, are running out of intensive care beds. Seven other regions have less than 10 intensive care beds available, including the Beaumont region, which covers a population of over 1.3 million.


Even with the new restrictions coming into effect, Houston remains more open for business than most other major US cities. Los Angeles, for example, is urging residents to stay at home and has implemented new quarantine orders for travelers. But the health situation is also even more alarming. The Los Angeles County Medical Services Agency has put in place a new directive so EMS teams do not transport patients with low chances of survival, to help overwhelmed county hospitals.

Further reading

COVID-19 hospitalizations trigger new restrictions in Houston area (Houston Chronicle)

Stressed by COVID-19, Texas Medical Center hospitals postpone some elective procedures (Houston Chronicle)

Intensive care units have exceeded capacity at Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest medical center (Forbes)

LA County’s new mandatory quarantine order for travelers is now official. This is how it works (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles ambulances ordered to leave patients with little chance of survival (Forbes)

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