Caroline Linton – CBS News
The number of people in Texas hospitalized from COVID-19 hit a record high of 2,287 on Sunday, an increase from the previous record of 2,242 cases on Saturday. The state has continued to move forward with its reopening plan, with restaurants being allowed to increase capacity to 75% and almost all businesses allowed to operate with 50% capacity on Friday.
According to the Texas Department of Public Health, the state has more than 55,000 hospital beds, with more than 14,000 available and more than 1,500 ICU beds available. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Friday that he saw “no real need to ratchet back the opening of businesses in the state” due to the number of hospital beds available, according to the Texas Tribune.
Abbott said he is “concerned, but not alarmed” about the test numbers, citing the high volume of tests being conducted. The state has conducted more than 1.4 million tests, aggressively targeting certain areas.
The highest number of cases is in Harris County, the largest county by population in the state. Harris County, which includes Houston, has more than 16,000 cases of COVID-19, according to the state. The other counties with large numbers of cases are also in major cities: Dallas County reported more than 13,000 cases; Tarrant County (which includes Fort Worth) reported more than 7,000 cases; Travis County (which includes Austin) reported more than 4,000 cases; Bexar County (which includes San Antonio) reported more than 4,000 cases; and El Paso County reported more than 3,000 cases.
After those cities, the largest numbers of infections are in the Amarillo area, where meatpacking plants have been considered the source of the outbreak and where Abbott has targeted aggressive testing.
Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious disease expert for UT Health, told CBS Houston affiliate KHOU that “it’s really human behaviour that’s driving” the spike.
In Florida, there was a single-day record of new Covid-19 cases on Saturday – a 35 percent increase over Friday and the third day in a row the state hit a record number of new cases.