Story at a glance
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott allowed the statewide stay-at-home order to expire at the end of April.
- In recent days, counties have seen spikes in new cases compared to previous weeks.
- The state has tested less than 2 percent of its total population so far.
Texas is putting to test the predictions of public health experts who warned about the repercussions of reopening the state at this time.
So far, 33,410 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Texas, with 911 deaths, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. The state has tested 427,210 people, less than 2 percent of its population of 29 million people.
“It’s going to be scary going into the fall,” Diana Cervantes, director of the epidemiology program at the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health, told the Daily Beast. “We’re going to see a huge explosion of cases.”
After instituting a stay-at-home order on April 2, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott allowed it to expire on April 30. All retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls were allowed to reopen May 1, with limited capacity.
One day earlier, the state reported 50 new deaths, the most in a single day during this pandemic, and 1,033 new cases of COVID-19, exceeding 1,000 for the first time since April 10.
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On May 3, Dallas County reported 234 new coronavirus cases, its highest total to date, according to Dallas County News. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told the Dallas Morning News that there had not been a significant increase in testing capacity. That week, coronavirus cases in the state spiked, with 7,090 new cases that week, compared to 5,763 the week before, according to data from The Hill.
Other states have also seen spikes in new cases and deaths as they reopen, lifting stay-at-home orders and loosening social distancing restrictions. In Georgia, more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed on the day before the state reopened and the day the stay-at-home order expired.
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