On Monday, Texas recorded its highest daily number of patients hospitalized due to the coronavirus — for the fourth day in a row. The record-breaking numbers come as the state continues to reopen its economy.
The state’s Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,326 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients who are currently in Texas hospitals, bypassing the previous record high on Sunday of 2,287. There are currently 51,365 total staffed hospital beds in the state, with 14,525 hospital beds available. Only 1,626 beds in Intensive Care Units are currently available in the state.
Overall, there have been 89,108 cases of COVID-19 reported in Texas, with an estimated 28,036 active cases and an estimated 59,089 recoveries. Nearly 2,000 people have died in the state as a result of the disease.
On June 3, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order to announce the third phase of reopening the state. The state has moved forward with the reopening plan, with restaurants being permitted to increase capacity to 75% and nearly all businesses allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
Abbott said Friday that he didn’t see a “real need to ratchet back the opening of businesses in the state,” partly due to the number of hospital beds open, the Texas Tribune reported.
The governor added that he is “concerned, but not alarmed” by the test numbers, citing the high volume of tests being conducted. The state has conducted nearly 1.5 million tests.
Announcing Phase III of Texas’ plan to safely open the economy while containing the spread of #COVID19As with previous phases, the Phase III plan is based on the advice and support of the four doctors on the @GSF_OpenTexas medical team. https://t.co/LMeNl1H90m pic.twitter.com/adpU9sDDzt
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) June 3, 2020
Harris County, the largest county by population in Texas, is currently reporting 16,778 cases, the most in the state. The county includes Houston, a city hit hard by the disease.
In Houston, officials are warning that they may need to order citizens back home and open a coronavirus hospital at a football complex in the city as cases surge. As of Friday, the Houston area is at what officials are calling a “Code Orange” — meaning an uncontrolled level of transmission of the disease.
“We’ve already uncorked the genie. We got our wish, which was to end the home quarantine orders,” said Dr. Jeremy Finkelstein, an emergency medical specialist at Houston Methodist. “And now we’re seeing people treat that as if COVID-19 is no longer an issue — and that’s far from the fact.”
Texas isn’t the only state seeing high numbers of hospitalizations due to the disease. Fourteen states have experienced an increase in hospitalizations since Memorial Day, and the coronavirus death toll is now expected to reach nearly 170,000 by October. That’s more than 50,000 additional deaths over the next several months.
Caroline Linton contributed to this report.
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