This State Is Urging Citizens to Not Leave Home Amid Coronavirus Surge
The governor wants to avoid another lockdown, but is telling people to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
States across the country are well into their reopening phases after months of stay-at-home orders that shuttered businesses, schools, and offices. But unfortunately, many areas have seen a spike in COVID-19 cases following a return to public life. Now, public officials are scrambling to get the outbreaks under control as about half of U.S. states report increasing numbers. This includes Texas, whose drastic surge in coronavirus cases has top officials urging citizens not to leave their homes.
The message comes on the heels of recently released figures that show that Texas' coronavirus-related hospitalizations have broken records for 12 straight days. "Because the spread is so rampant right now, there's never a reason for you to have to leave your home," Gov. Greg Abbott told KBTX, a local CBS News affiliate, on Tuesday. "Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home."
Abbott has remained clear that he hopes to avoid a second official shutdown of the Lone Star State, calling it "the last option." He hopes instead that choosing to limit trips out, wearing face masks, and practicing social distancing will help flatten the curve in the state.
On June 17, Angela Rasmussen, PhD, a virologist at Columbia University in New York City, told Best Life that Texas was one of the states that "reopened before it was safe to do so—there was still frequent community transmission, measures to reduce transmission were not implemented (physical distancing requirements and masks in public places), and there were not sufficient test-and-trace capabilities in place."
Now, the state is in a near-dire situation. "COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in the state of Texas, and it must be corralled," Abbott said in a press release on June 22. "We have several strategies to reduce the spread without shutting Texas back down, but it is up to all of us to do our part to protect ourselves and others."
The state is already grappling with ways to control the spread of the virus, including a mandate that bars limit their capacity to 50 percent of their legal occupancy. But the new regulations have been ignored by many businesses across the state, leading to the suspension of alcohol permits of a dozen bars by the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission earlier this week, CNN reports.
If numbers don't come down overall, the state may be looking at stricter regulations coming from officials. "There are measures that are being taken to make sure that we are immediately responding to this, as well as additional announcements that may be coming later today and later tomorrow, as well as during the course of the week," Abbott warned to KBTX. And for more on places that are struggling to flatten the curve, check out These States Where COVID-19 Cases Are Spiking Have Paused Reopening.