This rate of increase has been happening every day since May 8, according to data gathered from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The state even announced on May 14 its largest daily increase in both new cases and fatalities, with 1,448 new COVID-19 cases and 58 additional deaths.
Gov. Abbott insists on reopening Texas despite mounting COVID-19 cases
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that some businesses in the state will be allowed to resume operations at the beginning of May. Since then, Texas’ new coronavirus cases have been increasing by 1,000 almost daily – with exceptions for May 4 and May 7, when the number of new cases dipped below 1,000.
In television interviews he conducted across the state on May 14, Abbott focused on Texas’ increasing number of daily tests. The state was able to reach its previously set goal of 25,000 COVID-19 tests per day.
Texas’ record high number of new COVID-19 cases comes days ahead of an expected announcement by Abbott about reopening more businesses on Monday, May 18.
Abbott told KRIV, a Houston-based TV station, that his administration is considering both allowing additional businesses to reopen and allowing an increased capacity of customers for currently operating businesses. He said that his medical team is working on creating social distancing strategies to allow bars, one of the businesses that have not yet been permitted to resume functioning, to open their doors once more. (Related: Texas movie theaters, malls and restaurants reopen with “airport security-style” checkpoints.)
Abbott, in a different interview, assured that Texas hospitals still have enough capacity to handle a possible surge in COVID-19 cases. He further insisted that the state is experiencing a downward trend in rates of positive cases and coronavirus-related hospitalizations.
In an interview with KBTX in College Station, Texas, Abbott insisted that the “real data” shows that the COVID-19 growth rate in the state is “leveling off.”
“The fact of the matter is, hospitalizations in the state of Texas has stayed relatively flat during this entire time.”
Listen below to The Health Ranger Report with Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, as he talks about how one-third of Texans refuse to wear masks when shopping at retail stores:
Paxton to force local officials to abide by reopening guidelines
On May 12, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton even warned local officials and county judges to not try and enforce stricter and “unlawful” coronavirus restrictions than those that the state government has mandated. Texas is currently going through its first phase in its reopening strategy, which Abbot has stated will run through May 18.
Paxton issued letters to three counties – Travis, Dallas and Bexar – and two mayors – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Austin Mayor Steve Adler – warning them that some of their anti-coronavirus measures are, according to Texas state law, unlawful and “can confuse law-abiding citizens.”
Some of the “unlawful and unenforceable” measures include restrictions on allowing places of worship to operate, tracking customers who visit certain restaurants, imposing penalties for not wearing masks and shelter-in-place orders.
“Unfortunately, a few Texas counties and cities seem to have confused recommendations with requirements and have grossly exceeded state law to impose their own will on private citizens and businesses. These letters seek to avoid any public confusion as we reopen the state,” said Paxton in a statement.
“I trust that local officials will act quickly to correct any orders that unlawfully conflict with Texas law and Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders.”
Paxton added that Abbott’s executive order about the state’s reopening strategy supersedes any locally issued stay-at-home order.
Visit Pandemic.news for the latest updates on COVID-19 and business reopening strategies across the United States.