Texas experiences third consecutive day of record coronavirus hospitalizations

Texas health authorities on Wednesday released data showing that 2,153 people are currently hospitalized with the novel coronavirus, marking the third straight day it has reported a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.  

Hospitalizations have gradually increased since Monday, when the total reached a new high of 1,935, according to The Texas Tribune. On Tuesday, data from the Texas Department of State Health Services indicated that 2,056 were hospitalized due to the respiratory disease. 

The previous high for COVID-19 hospitalizations before this week reportedly came on May 5, when 1,888 had been hospitalized. 

The news comes more than a month after Texas lifted its stay-at-home order and began gradually reopening the state. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was one of the first state leaders to allow his initial quarantine order to expire, permitting some business to reopen under modified conditions starting in early May. 

Abbott last week announced that the state would enter its third phase of reopening, a move that allows businesses, including bars, gyms and office buildings, to operate at 50 percent capacity, with few exceptions. Some businesses have also been permitted to operate at 100 percent capacity, and few restrictions are in place for most outdoor areas. 

"The people of Texas continue to prove that we can safely and responsibly open our state for business while containing COVID-19 and keeping our state safe,” Abbott said in a statement on June 3

As of Wednesday, Texas had reported more than 77,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,853 deaths caused by it. The state has also reported having more than 1,500 open intensive care unit beds, approximately 13,600 available hospital beds and more than 5,900 available ventilators.

A spokesman for Abbott noted to the Tribune that since Texas reopened on May 1, the state has increased its testing capacity by 210 percent. 

"The state continues to have one of the lowest death rates in the nation," the spokesman said. 

The coronavirus outbreak led to a wave of stay-at-home orders throughout the nation as health officials emphasized the need to practice social distancing to help slow the disease's spread. Every state has lifted at least some restrictions in the intervening months, though experts continue to stress the outbreak is not over. 

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci: 'I seriously doubt' Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Public health expert: 50 percent effective coronavirus vaccine would be 'better than what we have now' MORE, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said in an interview aired on Tuesday that the virus met all the criteria for a nightmare scenario. 

"This took about a month to go around the world," Fauci said. "When is it going to end? We're still at the beginning of it."