Houston mayor proposes 2-week shutdown 'at the minimum' to quell COVID-19 spread

Houston mayor proposes 2-week shutdown 'at the minimum' to quell COVID-19 spread
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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) on Monday proposed a two-week shutdown “at the minimum” to quell the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor tweeted that he made his recommendation to Gov. Greg Abbott (R), telling the governor it will "help blunt" the spread of coronavirus.

“If we can not have a shut down, then at least step back to state’s Phase 1,” Turner tweeted. “This will allow us to reset and reassess.”

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Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Turner's recommendation came a day after Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo called for a stay-at-home order.

“Not only do we need a stay home order now, but we need to stick with it this time until the hospitalization curve comes down, not just flattens,” she tweeted. “Many communities that persevered in that way are reopening for the long haul. Let’s learn from that & not make the same mistake twice.”

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Texas has become a coronavirus hot spot in the U.S. recently, with Houston's county recording the most cases in the state.

Harris County has confirmed 47,369 cases and designates 32,559 cases as active. It has recorded 466 fatalities.

Texas has 264,313 confirmed cases and 3,235 deaths, according to state data. The Lone Star State on Thursday broke its record for the number of daily new cases, with 10,909, and surpassed 10,000 hospitalizations the same week.

The governor has responded to the surge by requiring people to wear face coverings in public and by closing bars and reducing restaurant capacity. Democrats argue the governor reopened the state too quickly, while some Republicans say his recent restrictions go too far.

Abbott announced on Sunday that the federal government agreed to continue supporting coronavirus testing sites in Dallas and Houston after the Trump administration’s original plan to stop directly funding the sites sparked backlash.