Texas COVID-19 cases set new record

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Halts Coronavirus Reopening As Cases Rise

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pauses reopening as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spike

Businesses permitted to open under the previous phase can continue to operate at the designated occupancy levels and under minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services, according to the statement. "The more that we all follow these guidelines, the safer our state will be and the more we can open up Texas for business", he added.

As Texas announces it is again closing down bars due to a surge in new coronavirus cases, the number of confirmed new cases per day in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 40,000 yesterday.

Mr Abbott's order was published just hours before Texas set another record for the number of new coronavirus cases in a single day.

The virus is blamed for 124,000 deaths in the USA and 2.4m confirmed infections nationwide, by Johns Hopkins' count.

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Abbott's latest action does nothing to reverse any of the reopening phases he's already allowed for - meaning that bars, restaurants, malls, bowling alleys and other businesses are still allowed to remain open with some capacity limitations. On Wednesday, there were 1,320 intensive care unit beds and almost 13,000 available hospital beds, but with regional disparities.

Abbott previously called for a ban on elective surgeries in March, before lifting it in April.

Abbott this week has taken a newly urgent tone about the worsening trends and is now telling the public they should stay home. It directs hospitals in those counties to "postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately, medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition or to preserve the life of a patient who without immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient's physician".

Laredo's hospitals are also reported to be hitting their ICU capcity.

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On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott announced Texas would be halting any new plans for reopening while waiting for infection rates to decline.

Some hospital leaders had also pointed out that treating both patients could become unsustainable: "Should the number of new cases grow too rapidly, it will eventually challenge our ability to treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID 19 patients", Dr. Marc Boom, head of the Houston Methodist hospital system, wrote in an email Friday.

"As Texas faces a rise in COVID-19 cases, we are focused on both slowing the spread of this virus and maintaining sufficient hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients", said Governor Abbott.

"I ask all Texans to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, washing their hands regularly, and socially distancing from others".

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