This State's COVID-19 Numbers Are Bordering on "Apocalyptic," Doctor Warns
One of the most populous states in the country is heading down a dangerous path.
Phased reopenings and people becoming increasingly lax about precautionary measures have contributed to a significant spike in coronavirus cases in many states around the country. One state in particular seems to be heading in an extremely dangerous direction. The spiking number of COVID-19 cases in metropolitan areas of Texas has one expert warning of an "apocalyptic" situation.
On June 23, California reported more than 7,000 new cases, while both Florida and Texas reported over 5,000 new coronavirus cases— these numbers broke their previous daily records. In Texas, infections are concentrated in highly populated areas, with cases steadily rising in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. The city of Houston is the biggest concern for many state officials, however. "If the current Texas trajectory continues," CNN reports, "Houston could be the hardest-hit city in the US with numbers rivaling those in Brazil." (Brazil has reported about 1.2 million cases overall.)
"The big metro areas seem to be rising very quickly, and some of the models are on the verge of being apocalyptic," Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN. He explained that if Houston continues on its current path, it could see a four-fold increase in the number of daily new cases by July 4. Hotez urged states to act quickly to stop community spread.
On June 24, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he would be suspending reopening efforts instead of moving onto the next phase while the state works to address the recent increase in coronavirus cases. Texas is joining Oregon, Utah, Louisiana, and North Carolina in pausing reopening because of a drastic uptick in infections.
Hotez told CNN that Texas, along with positive test results, is also seeing commensurate increases in its number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions. "You get to the point where you overwhelm ICUs and that's when the mortality goes up," he warned.
For more on recent spikes, here's The One Thing You're Doing That's Fueling New Coronavirus Outbreaks.