AUSTIN, Texas, USA (AP) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Tuesday that the state topped 5,000 new cases of coronavirus in a single day for the first time, another troubling milestone as the pediatric hospital more America’s largest begins admitting adult patients to free beds in Houston.
The announcement came days after Texas registered 4,000 new cases for the first time just last weekend. Doctor Anthony Fauci, the country’s infectious disease expert, told lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday that “the next few weeks are going to be critical” in Texas and other states trying to control an alarming spike in new cases.RELATED
“There are still many people in the state of Texas who believe that the spread of COVID-19 is not a challenge,” Abbott told KBTX television in Bryan, Texas. “The coronavirus is a serious thing. It is spreading. “
It did not offer an exact number of new cases or evidence in total, figures that are expected to be available in the next few hours. But Abbott noted Monday that the infection rate in Texas has doubled since late May to almost 9% and that the state reached the 11th consecutive day of record hospitalizations for COVID-19 with more than 3,700.
Abbott emphasized wearing masks in a more energetic way than at any other point in the pandemic. He hasn’t implemented new measures that many Democrats have asked him to do, such as making the use of face masks mandatory, but he hinted Tuesday that there could be new actions.
The governor has noted that Texas continues to have many hospital beds available, but some of the state’s largest medical centers are beginning to create new spaces to handle the growing number of cases. Texas Children’s Hospital, the largest pediatric hospital in the United States, reported Tuesday that it was admitting adult patients to other facilities to free up more space in the Houston area.
The number of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Harris County, which encompasses the city of Houston, has almost tripled since May 31.