Texas Governor Presses Pause Amidst ‘Massive’ Coronavirus Outbreak

By Kurt Stolz on 25 June 2020
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Texas State Capitol building in Austin

After saying that his state was facing a “massive outbreak” of novel coronavirus cases, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced he would scale back his aggressive reopening plans.

Major hospitals in the state are straining to handle the influx of coronavirus patients, health officials there said.

“Our infrastructure is overwhelmed,” David Persse, Houston’s director of emergency medical services, said during a media briefing on Wednesday.

Texas is currently in Phase 3 of its reopening.  Businesses that have already been allowed to reopen may continue to operate, but plans to increase occupancy or reduce safety precautions are now on hold, the governor said, and he placed a moratorium on elective surgeries in the state.

Governor Abbott was one of the most outspoken state officials in the country about reopening the economy, and some experts believe the state reopened prematurely.

Health officials in the state reported 5,551 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, a record since the pandemic began.  The state also saw 4,389 patients hospitalized with Covid-19, another record. There were 29 new fatalities and the rate of positive test results reached 10.4%, the highest level since mid-April, when the state was still under a shelter-at-home order.

Earlier in the week, officials said they might exceed the capacity of the city’s intensive-care units by Thursday.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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