NATIONWIDE -- Texas has seen a significant uptick recently in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. It’s not alone. The Lone Star State, Arizona and California are among at least 18 states reporting increases.
The trend on Monday prompted Austin Public Health to move the Austin-Travis County region to Stage 4 of its risk-based chart. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has resisted curtailing economic reopening efforts, is set to speak on the coronavirus spike Tuesday.
This comes following a period in May when it felt like we were getting a handle on the virus. Since then, businesses have reopened and expanded capacity, testing has increased, and numerous people have taken part in protests across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
The sudden surge may make it seem as though a second wave of coronavirus is upon us. Indeed, public health officials in Bexar County indicated as much. However, according to some experts, the first wave may not have crested, so to speak.
The “wave” in question has been described as analogous to the coronavirus curve you’ve heard about. Flattening the curve means reducing the number of new cases, and keeping health care professionals from becoming overwhelmed, but it doesn’t mean it’s going down.
Vanderbilt University epidemiologist Loren Lipworth this week told NBC News that “a second wave implies that the first wave has disappeared and reappeared. I don’t think that’s what we’re seeing here in the U.S.”
What we’ve likely been experiencing since March is a series of peaks and valleys within the first wave.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute Allergy and Infectious Diseases, this past weekend said that a true second wave is not inevitable if we go about things the right way. He urged people to wear facial coverings in public places and continue to practice social distancing.