DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Due to high hospitalization rates in North Texas, the state has determined the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and other surrounding counties must go back to a 50% occupancy at businesses and halt elective surgeries.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on Saturday tweeted a letter he received from Texas Health and Human Services regarding the new guidelines, which were stated in Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order from Oct. 7.

READ MORE: COVID-19 Omicron Variant Confirmed In 2 North Texas Patients By Frisco Lab

The order applies to Trauma Service Area E, which covers the following counties: Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Fannin, Grayson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise.

According to the letter, high hospitalization rates are defined as “Any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent, 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 of less.”

READ MORE: Plano Takes Next Step Toward Farm-Inspired Mixed-Use Development, Haggard Farms

The state determined the North Texas area exceeded that 15% mark for the last seven days.

The letter stated that as of Dec. 5 businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms, museums and libraries in the affected counties must return to a 50% limited occupancy, down from 75%. Counties with minimal COVID-19 cases, however, may qualify for increased occupancy levels.

According to the letter, all hospitals in the area must also halt elective surgeries. The hospitals will be notified by the Health and Human Services Commission.

MORE NEWS: 300+ Astroworld Festival Lawsuits To Be Handled By 1 Texas Judge

MORE FROM CBSDFW

CBSDFW.com Staff