As states reopen, some have seen rising numbers of cases that have led some to question whether stricter rules about masks and social distancing are needed.
In Texas, the coronavirus outbreak sparked new concerns as hospitalizations rose 11% in a single day on Wednesday, according to CNBC. 2,793 people are now hospitalized in the state, up from 2,518 on Tuesday.
Available hospital beds in the state still far exceed usage, with 13,815 beds still available statewide. Governor Greg Abbott (R) said Tuesday that there was no reason for concern and that hospital capacity was still “abundant” in the state.
New cases have been rising since Memorial Day and seem to coincide with the state’s reopening. Texas has had more than 99,000 cases since mid-March with 2,105 deaths.
Texas holding fast to reopening
There were 3,511 new cases of the virus reported on Wednesday across the state, which has 29 million residents. While increased testing could account for some of the rise in new cases, testing alone cannot explain the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations in the state.
Despite higher case numbers and hospitalizations, Abbott said Texas will continue to reopen. Wearing face masks is being encouraged but not required in the state.
“We are better prepared to deal with COVID-19 today than we were back in March or April,” Abbott said.
Businesses including retail stores, salons, restaurants and gyms are now open in Texas at partial or full capacity depending on the number of active cases in the county. Amusement parks and other outdoor venues are also open, and gatherings of up to 500 people are permitted in the state.
Impact of protests unknown
While mainstream media has been quick to blame rising cases on business reopenings and a lack of restrictions like mandatory mask orders, it’s important to note that the counties with the most new cases and deaths right now–Harris County where Houston is located and Dallas County–were also the site of the largest protests against police brutality and racism a few weeks ago.
I know that the woke left would like to ignore the possible impact of thousands of people marching without social distancing on case numbers and fatalities, but there is definitely a correlation there that should be considered.
Certainly, if officials think gathering in groups over 500 could spread the virus and have continued to limit large groups, then they should be looking into whether those testing positive and being hospitalized attended a protest.
But I haven’t heard anything about healthcare workers asking that question, and the media seems quite content to focus elsewhere and let protests be the elephant in the room.