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During last week’s Special Meeting of the Big Spring City Council on 11/17/2020, Mayor Shannon Thomason spoke of a spike in COVID-19 cases in West Texas, and stated that Scenic Mountain Medical Center in Big Spring had reached out to the City to help mitigate the spread.


Thomason stated that it was unfortunate that they had to recognize the need for restrictions, but they legally could not do it and he was diametrically opposed to putting limits on businesses and citizens. However, he did say that he is not opposed to reminding people to social distance, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and wash their hands.


Thomason advised citizens of the passing of Street Supervisor Robert Diaz, who had succumbed to COVID-19 on Nov. 2, 2020. Diaz had been employed by the City of Big Spring since 1994. His family will join Council in the next meeting to receive Diaz’s retirement plaque.


Mayor Thomason advised that Trauma Service Area (TSA) J - which includes Howard County - was near 15 percent in COVID-19 hospitalizations in relation to hospital capacity. He stated if that percentage surpassed 15 percent for seven consecutive days, then businesses would have to return to 50 percent capacity and bars would have to close.


As per Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 which took effect on Oct. 14, 2020, these orders would be in place until the COVID-19 hospitalization percentage had decreased to or below 15 percent for seven consecutive days.


According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, as of 11/22/2020 at 12:50 PM, TSA J had the following percentages since Nov. 16, 2020:


Nov. 16, 2020 - 14.54%

Nov. 17, 2020 - 16.08%

Nov. 18, 2020 - 16.65%

Nov. 19, 2020 - 15.7 %

Nov. 20, 2020 - 17%

Nov. 21, 2020 - 16.87%

Nov. 22, 2020 - 16.68%


**NOTE** - According to DSHS, "The formula for this metric is: Lab Confirmed COVID-19 Patients Currently in the Hospital divided by Total Hospital Capacity.


  • Lab Confirmed COVID-19 Patients Currently in the Hospital is the total number of patients in the hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19 by molecular test. This includes pediatric and adult COVID-19 patients.
  • Total Hospital Capacity is the number of staffed available and occupied beds. This includes pediatric and adult hospital patients, general and ICU beds, inpatient and outpatient beds, emergency department beds, and telemetry and psychiatric beds."



Texas Trauma Service Area Hospital Data can be found at:


Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 can be found at:

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