88.8 F
Fort Worth
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Gov. Greg Abbott emphasizes hospital capacity as Texas continues with business reopenings

Other News

How it happened: Inside Biden’s search for a running mate

By JULIE PACE, DAVID EGGERT and KATHLEEN RONAYNE Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Gretchen Whitmer wanted out.The Michigan governor had caught the interest...

What to Know: Budget time, COVID housing and ‘If I Had a Hammer’

Trini Lopez, a singer and guitarist who gained fame for his versions of “Lemon Tree” and “If I Had a Hammer” in...

Fort Worth Council approves contract for COVID housing

The Fort Worth City Council approved a $9.3 million proposal to turn unused hotel space into permanent supportive housing for people impacted...

Court upholds murder sentence of ex-cop who shot Black teen

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas appeals court has upheld the murder conviction and 15-year sentence of a white ex-police officer who fatally...


By Patrick Svitek
June 16, 2020

                

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday continued to tout Texas’ hospital capacity as plentiful as hospitalizations due to the new coronavirus hit new highs and the state presses forward with business reopenings.

Abbott, speaking during a news conference in Austin, called the state’s capacity “abundant” and said officials are “laser-focused” on maintaining that level.

The state saw another new peak Tuesday, reporting 2,518 Texans are currently hospitalized who have tested positive for the virus. Close to 15,000 beds are still open, according to the latest figures from the Department of State Health Services.

Still, the tally of hospitalizations has been on a brisk upward trajectory. Tuesday’s count was up 43% from the start of the month.

The number of cases has also continued to rise in the state, and the first half of June saw some of the biggest single-day caseloads yet.

In seeking to explain the trend, Abbott pointed to temporary spikes in positive tests in some isolated areas. But he also suggested young people specifically are not taking the virus seriously enough, saying there are “certain counties where a majority of the people who are testing positive … are under the age of 30, and this typically results from people going to bar-type settings.”

“It’s hard to tell exactly where those people contracted COVID,” Abbott said. “All we know is that because these people are testing positive at a higher rate who are age 30 and under, it informs us about certain strategies to take to make sure that we are able to reduce the number of people testing positive.”

Abbott pointed to a recent warning by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which said bars and restaurants could lose their licenses for 30 days if they do not follow state guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Bars are currently allowed to operate at 50% capacity and restaurants at 75% capacity.

The news conference featured a presentation by John Zerwas, the University of Texas System official and former state representative who is helping with the state’s coronavirus response. In an exchange with Abbott, Zerwas said the state is still at “Level 5” in hospital capacity, meaning hospitals can maintain their current capacities without having to build it out.

“The bottom line is this, and that is the increased capacity of hospital beds, it does raise concerns, but as shown today, there is no reason to be alarmed,” Abbott said. “Even though there are more people hospitalized, we still remain at the lowest threat level in our hospital capacity. We have plenty of room to expand beds. There are thousands of hospital beds that are available as we speak right now. And then there is the ability to surge even more hospital beds if it were ever to be needed.”

As he has done in recent days, Abbott reiterated that the state still has the option to at least partially restore a ban on elective procedures to free up even more beds.

Disclosure: The University of Texas System has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

                "Gov. Greg Abbott emphasizes hospital capacity as Texas continues with business reopenings" was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/06/16/texas-coronavirus-hospitalizations-abbott/ by The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is proud to celebrate 10 years of exceptional journalism for an exceptional state.
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Fort Worth City Council takes first look at $782M 2021 budget

The City Council got its first look at a proposed $782 million fiscal 2021 general fund budget Tuesday at the Fort Worth City Council...

Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

By KATHLEEN RONAYNE and WILL WEISSERT Associated Press WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris...

Scientists uneasy as Russia approves 1st coronavirus vaccine

By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and DARIA LITVINOVA Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Tuesday became the first country to...

Egg producer gouged prices when pandemic hit, lawsuit says

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the country's largest egg producers illegally inflated prices when the pandemic hit New York, taking in...

Worldwide virus cases top 20 million, doubling in six weeks

By MARK STEVENSON, NICKY FORSTER and MICHELLE R. SMITH Associated Press It took six months for the world to...