Texas Puts Reopening On “Pause” As Virus Cases Rise

Texas Puts Reopening On

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Governor Greg Abbott halted elective operations in Texas’s major counties on Thursday and said the state would “pause” its aggressive reopening because it is handling a wave of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations that have made it a hot virus place.

The suspension of elective surgery is intended to protect the hospital space in the Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas. Across the state, the number of COVID-19 patients has more than doubled in two weeks. Texas has reported more than 11,000 new cases in the past two days alone.

The pause at the reopening does not bring back previous orders, as a result of which a large part of the economy was already open again. But it seems to be delaying the planned expansion of the occupancy rate in places like bars, restaurants, amusement parks and other locations.

“We are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while enabling Texans to continue to earn a salary to support their families,” Abbott said in a statement. “The last thing we want to do as a state is to go back and close businesses. This temporary pause will help our state make its spread more sustainable until we can safely enter the next stage of opening our state to business. ‘

By reintroducing a ban on elective operations, the Republican is returning to one of its first actions when the virus first surfaced in Texas in March. He later revoked the order during an aggressive state reopening in May, lifting lockdown orders for most of the US.

Abbott took a new urgent tone this week about deteriorating trends and is now telling the public to stay at home. On Thursday, hospital admissions rose to nearly 4,400 patients, setting a new record for the 13th consecutive day.

Abbott has also urged Texans to wear masks in public. The governor has not issued a state-wide mask order, but the cities and counties of the state have imposed new orders on companies to require customers and workers to wear face masks.

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This story has been corrected to indicate that the number of hospital patients is almost 4,400 and not 4,700.

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Associated Press reporter Nomaan Merchant contributed from Houston.

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