This State Has Seen Record COVID-19 Hospitalizations For 12 Straight Days
Despite a severe rise in coronavirus numbers, the governor says lockdown is a last resort.
The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged states across the U.S., and while some areas seem to have contained their outbreaks, other parts of the country are facing an increasingly dire situation. The numbers are harrowing, with some states seeing case numbers double every three weeks—if not more often. And though there have been several states singled out by experts as being in serious need of intervention, one is seeing a distinctly severe rise in citizens hospitalized as a result of the virus: As of June 23, Texas has broken its record for coronavirus hospitalizations for 12 straight days.
When The Texas Tribune reported on the state's coronavirus crisis, they noted a record number of hospitalizations for 11 consecutive days, with 3,711 cases on June 22. But the most recently released numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services reveal an even higher number of hospitalizations on June 23—4,092—which means the state broke its record once again.
These are not the only numbers that are cause for concern. As the Tribune notes, the state broke another record on June 20 with the highest number of new cases for a single day: 4,430. For the week ending in June 21, cases rose nearly 85 percent, with CNN reporting that coronavirus cases in Texas are doubling every three weeks. As of June 24, there are over 124,725 cases in the state, with nearly 2,250 deaths, per The New York Times.
"To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled," Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference on June 22, the Tribune reports. He pointed to the rise in new cases, positive testing percentages, and hospitalizations, saying, "In each of these three categories, there's been pretty much a doubling of the numbers in those three categories. If we were to experience another doubling of those numbers over the next month, that would mean we are in an urgent situation where tougher actions will be required."
It's not clear what those "tougher actions" would look like, but Abbott stressed that a return to lockdown would "always be the last option." In the meantime, the governor emphasized staying home when possible, using hand sanitizer, maintaining social distance, and wearing masks. "I know that some people feel that wearing a mask is inconvenient or is like an infringement of freedom, but I also know that wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open," he said, though he resisted the call to issue a statewide mask mandate.
While Democratic Rep. Chris Turner praised the governor for articulating the reality of the coronavirus situation in Texas, he criticized him for not doing more. "Gov. Abbott did a good job describing the COVID-19 crisis," Turner said in a statement. "He set the stage to finally take much-needed strong and decisive action—and then, predictably, backed away without doing anything." And for more states that are facing serious outbreaks, These States May Be "Past the Point" of Controlling COVID-19, Doctor Says.