Houston's largest newspaper urges people to stay home on July 4 weekend

Houston's largest newspaper urges people to stay home on July 4 weekend
© Getty Images

Houston's most-read newspaper urged residents of Texas's largest city to "Stay at Home This 4th of July Weekend" in a front-page headline amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen surging cases in Texas and particularly Houston in recent weeks.

The Houston Chronicle warned that even gatherings with family and friends can spread COVID-19, which has killed nearly 400 people in Harris County, where the city is located, since the pandemic began.

The urging comes as beach closures are being announced throughout many parts of the Texas Gulf Coast. Galveston announced it was closing its beaches on Wednesday.

Cases were relatively low when Gov. Greg Abbott (R) reopened the state's economy it late April, but over the last two weeks the state has seen rising cases, raising questions about whether things opened too quickly. Abbot has since slowed the reopening and ordered bars to close while scaling back restaurant capacity to 50 percent.