TEXAS – We’re nearly to the end of July and, reality is, things have gone from bad to worse.
Texas has consistently reported record-breaking numbers for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
State health officials on July 21 reported an estimated 151,059 active cases of the virus. That number is probably much higher, however, because of testing limitations and people who have contracted the novel coronavirus without exhibiting symptoms. There were 4,151 deaths attributed to the virus in Texas and an estimated 186,529 recoveries.
Texas is among the nation’s hotspots for COVID-19, and this is particularly worrisome as the new school year approaches. Many colleges and universities will offer a hybrid in-person/virtual curriculum in the fall. Secondary schools are a bigger problem. Many schools district are slated to resume in August, and at this point in-person learning on many campuses has been delayed in favor of virtual instruction for at least a few weeks.
Austin-Travis County currently remains in Stage 4 of Austin Public Health’s risk-based chart. Masks are mandated in public spaces and there are limitations on gatherings. Bars remain ordered closed.
Texas coronavirus numbers recently prompted the cancellation of the Texas GOP’s in-person convention, which was slated to take place in Houston. State Republicans will hold a virtual convention instead. Turnout for the primary election runoff on July 14 was high despite the pandemic, possibly signaling high voter turnout in November.
In response to an unprecedented number of unemployment claims, the Texas Workforce Commission has expanded call centers to seven days a week. Call 800-939-6631 to be connected.
The CDC is currently advising that people avoid close contact with those that are sick via social distancing. It also advises avoiding touching your face and to wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Below is a live blog with updates from local and national government agencies and organizations. Continue checking this page for the latest information.