Story at a glance
- Texas recorded three days of increasing hospitalizations due to coronavirus infections.
- This comes as multiple states are reopening and seeing jumps in new cases.
This past weekend, Texas saw 2,000 new reported coronavirus cases, resulting in a spike in hospitalizations for three consecutive days between June 12-14.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that on Saturday, Texas health officials recorded 2,331 new cases, making the estimated active case count statewide 27,537.
This comes as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is moving forward with Phase 3 of the state’s economic reopening, a move that experts warn will lead to a jump in cases as more people emerge from lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.
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While an increase in confirmed cases can be due to increases in testing capacity, an increase in hospitalizations is a more accurate metric for gauging how severe infections are, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials said in a press conference last week.
Since June 11, the number of Texans diagnosed with COVID-19 who were subsequently hospitalized has been increasing, showcasing 2,166 individuals hospitalized on Friday; jumping to 2,242 on Saturday; and finally increasing to a record-high of 2,287 on Sunday.
Hospitals are not near capacity, per state data, with more than 14,000 available beds and almost 6,000 available ventilators for more severe cases. Because of these ample resources, Abbott said Friday that there is “no real need to ratchet back the opening of businesses in the state.”
He still urged residents to follow the CDC-recommended reopening guidelines, which include social distancing by at least 6 feet and wearing masks in public.
Multiple states, such as South Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida and Arizona, are reporting more cases following lax lockdown orders.
CDC Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases and COVID-19 Response Incident Manager Jay Butler said that while new cases are broadly plateaued on a national level, dramatic spikes could lead to reinstating state lockdowns.
“If cases begin to go up again, and particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as were implemented back in March may be needed again, and that is a decision that really needs to be made locally,” Butler said.
Across the country, the U.S. has hit 2,100,749 cases per June 15 data, The total death toll is 115,827, per Johns Hopkins data.
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