Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Halts Coronavirus Reopening As Cases Rise


Texas is not the only state experiencing a unsafe increase in cases after reopening, CBS News Manuel Bojorquez reported.

In a news release, Abbott said the state will pause all scheduled phases of reopening, meaning any businesses that would have been allowed to reopen in the coming weeks will have to remain closed.

However, the state will not proceed with further reopenings for the time being.

The latest ban on elective procedures only applies to Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties, four areas where the number of patients hospitalized with virus is quickly progressing.

"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 in a statement.

The number of new coronavirus infections is approaching record daily levels in the U.S., with more than 35,900 cases recorded in the past 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Laredo TV station KGNS reported Wednesday night that Victor Treviño, the health authority, has contacted the commissioner of Texas Department of State Health Services to fast track the diversion of COVID-19 patients to other hospitals because ICU unites in the city's hospitals are reaching capacity.

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Abbott noted he always said that if positivity rates again exceeded 10%, he'd consider that a "red flag" that required action to limit reopening of businesses and public activities. "This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business". One of the first measures Abbott took in March when the pandemic emerged in the state was to order hospitals to suspend nonessential surgeries to help ensure they weren't overwhelmed.

With new cases and the number of COVID-19 patients rising rapidly, "We are looking at greater restrictions and some could be localized", Abbott said Wednesday without detailing what those would be or where. After about a month, the state eased those restrictions.

DeSantis said says he'll crack down on businesses that don't follow social distancing guidelines, but added he won't change the state's reopening plan or enact a statewide mandatory mask order.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson planned to meeting with Dallas County officials and the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council on Thursday to discuss reactivating a plan to use the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center as a pop-up medical facility.

"The Fake News doesn't like telling you that!" he said.

Also reporting record rises in cases this week were Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming.

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