Texas was slow to recognize the treat posed by COVID-19. As a result, many residents were opposed to the lockdown and they have been eager to embrace the reopening process. Now that the state is facing record number of COVID-19 infections, Governor Greg Abbott has announced that reopening the economy will be “paused.”
Last Thursday saw a record high number of cases reported, 5,996, the third consecutive record breaking day for the state.
“As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families,” Abbott said Thursday morning. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”
Governor Abbott also halted elective surgeries in the state’s largest counties. The decision was made to prevent hospitals in those areas from overloading. The order applies to Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties — home to the respective cities of San Antonio, Dallas, Houston and Austin.
Texas businesses that are already open will continue to operate, but must follow existing health protocols; masks, social distancing and capacity restrictions. Bars and restaurants are open for in-door seating as are gyms, malls and movie theaters.
Thursday was not only a record breaking day for Texas. It also saw the highest number of new recorded infections in the US. Yesterday’s 41,113 infections surpassed the previous record of 36,975 set on Wednesday.