TEXAS — Texas hit a new peak Friday with the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, climbing to 2,166. That marks the fourth time this week the state has hit a record number of hospitalizations.

To give some perspective, over the last seven days, the state has averaged about 2,000 people in the hospital. The previous seven-day average was nearly 1,775. This week, the state also hit its highest daily case count at 2,504.

The governor has reiterated there will be increases as the state reopens. As of Friday, restaurants in Texas are now allowed to operate at 75 percent capacity and almost all businesses can now operate at 50 percent capacity.

But Gov. Greg Abbott has also promised the state is prepared to cover any upticks and has expressed confidence in current hospital capacity.

“We always have to be concerned when we see an uptick in cases, particularly hospitalizations. But it’s expected,” said Dr. Gerald Parker, director of the biosecurity and pandemic policy program at Texas A&M’s Bush School and associate dean for Global One Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We really have to follow public health guidance so we don’t see a dangerous increase in cases and a dangerous increase in hospitalizations.”

Dr. Parker said pulling back on reopening is a complicated question and doesn’t anticipate that happening. He urged Texans to continue to practice social distancing measures and wear a face covering.

"We have to figure out how we can live with the virus. The virus is not going to go away,” he said. “And we know a lot more about the virus than we did just a month ago and who's at most risk and who's a lesser risk. So we have to plan and move forward with our life and mitigate the risk."

Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Dr. Parker.