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ETX officials eye hospitalizations, urge residents to wear masks

Texarkana

BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – One day after Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement about reopening many bars in the state next week, a Bowie County official is warning about the region’s hospitalization rate.

Bowie County Judge Bobby Howell said the Texarkana-area is located in Trauma Service Area F, which includes hospitals in Texarkana, Mount Pleasant, Sulphur Springs and Paris. According to the governor’s orders, if an area were to exceed 15-percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations for 7 consecutive days, reopening plans would be rolled back.

Howell said there is concern in this region. “We had one stretch of five days in a row, we were over the 15 percent, but we dropped back over the weekend,” he said. “It’s important for our community, if we want to continue to have our businesses open at the level they’re open now, then we need to continue to wear masks.”

According to the state, hospitalizations in this region were at 16.9 percent on Tuesday and dropped to 14.6 percent on Wednesday. You can track them here: https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0d8bdf9be927459d9cb11b9eaef6101f then click on the ‘hospitals – regional’ tab.

Howell added that most of the bars in Bowie County operate as private clubs and so far, he does intend to allow them to open next week, but still has not received all required paperwork from the state. 

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