Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Monday that coronavirus is spreading throughout the state at an “unacceptable rate” and insisted that something be done to protect Texans and the state’s economy.
Abbott’s comments were made during a scheduled press conference on coronavirus during which he discussed recent data from within the state, including new cases, new hospitalizations, and the number of people who have tested positive.
According to Abbott, last week the state averaged nearly 3,500 new cases per day, a stark contrast from the 1,500 daily case average in May. He also stated that hospitals were slightly overwhelmed with a straight ten-day record with more than 3,400 cases, adding that the positivity index sat at nine percent after being below five percent last month.
Recent data released by the Texas Department of State Health Services revealed that hospitalizations had increased to more than 3,700, the positivity index jumped to 9.51 percent, and 3,300 cases were added on Sunday with ten additional deaths.
“To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas and it must be corralled,” Abbott said.
Eric Johnson, the mayor of Dallas, Texas’s third-largest city with a population of more than 1.3 million people, said Monday that ICU beds located within the city are at 72 percent capacity. Ventilator use sits at 34 percent.
With the recent spike in cases, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital released the following statement:
We are carefully monitoring the increase, acknowledge the COVID-19 census has increased over the past 2 to 2.5 weeks, but still only represents about 7.5% of our total census. We will certainly watch carefully our COVID-19 hospitalizations, but ask everyone to please wear facial covering in public, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently and practice good personal hygiene. If we all work collaboratively together, we can slow community spread and strive to open businesses in a very safe manner.
Abbott reiterated safety precautions and insisted those going out into the public should wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open. Not taking action to slow the spread will cause COVID to spread even worse, risking people’s lives and ultimately leading to the closure of more businesses,” Abbott said. “Our goal is to keep Texans out of hospitals and reduce the number of Texans who test positive.”