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Houston and Texas Break New Coronavirus Records

The city of Houston and the state of Texas broke new coronavirus records yesterday, a sign that the potentially deadly pathogen continues to spread nearly unabated.

Texas Reports 10,400 New Coronavirus Cases

On Tuesday, the Houston Health Department confirmed 1,060 additional cases of COVID-19, marking the first time the city has logged more than 1,000 new cases in a single day. Although the Health Department had previously reported more than 1,000 cases in one day, those earlier reports included multiple days of data.
Harris County reported 475 new cases on Tuesday, the third-highest daily count since the outbreak began.
Texas reported an additional 10,400 new cases statewide, shattering its previous one-day record of 8,260 cases set on July 4th. The state also broke new records for coronavirus deaths – 474 – and hospitalizations – 9,286 – on Tuesday.

Some Texas Hospitals Running Out of Beds

According to The Houston Chronicle, Texas now has more than twice as many people hospitalized for coronavirus as two weeks ago.  Some hospitals are close to running out of beds.
At least two counties in South Texas — Hidalgo and Starr — announced over the weekend that their hospitals had reached full capacity. The Mayors of Houston, San Antonio, and Austin have also warned that hospitals in those cities could reach capacity over the next few weeks.
“This should be an alarm bell for everybody watching this show right now who has been a disbeliever about whether or not COVID-19 is really a threat,” Governor Greg Abbott said on Tuesday during an interview on KENS in San Antonio.

Coronavirus Surge Stalls Texas Reopening

New York and Florida are the only other states to record more than 10,000 new cases in a single day. New York hit that high back in April, while Florida broke the 10,000 daily case threshold just last week.
To free up hospital beds, Governor Abbott has barred elective surgeries in eight of the hardest-hit counties, including Harris County. The surge had already forced Abbott to backtrack from his aggressive reopening plan last month when he ordered bars to close once again and directed restaurants to return to 50% capacity.
Most recently, he mandated masks in any Texas county with more than 20 coronavirus cases.

Texas Schools Ordered to Open for In-Person Classes This Fall

Yet even as the Governor warned of increasing fatalities over the next several weeks, Texas ordered all schools that receive state funds to open for in-person classes next month. The directive followed a Tweet from President Trump demanding that the nation’s schools open in the fall, as well as a presidential promise to exert pressure on governors throughout the country to achieve that goal.
Abbott enacted one of the nation’s most aggressive reopening strategies on May 1st, despite warnings from public health experts that his plan would likely re-accelerate transmission of COVID-19 across the state. Now that the worst fears have been realized, the Governor has faced criticism for his handling of this unprecedented public health crisis.
Meanwhile, Abbott has sought to place blame on the supposed failure of local officials to enforce his mask mandate and other recent directives.  But his attempts at deflection have only led to further criticism, including calls from some that the Governor relinquish his office.
“Abbott opens Texas too soon, issues mask order too late, denies local leaders authority to contain the virus — causing uncontrolled covid spread, many hospitalized & soon dead because of his negligence — and then blames local officials?” former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke wrote in a Tweet published Monday Night. “Pathetic. Resign,”

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