Texas has become the first state to surpass one million coronavirus cases. Congrats, I guess?
In celebration, the state’s leaders have given zero indication they intend to implement additional restrictions, the AP reports.
“We were certainly hoping we would be in a bubble and not have to go through the things that larger communities were having to deal with because we were in —quote— rural Texas,” said Cory Edmondson, president and CEO of Peterson Health in Kerrville.
“But that quickly came to a halt, and we realized we’re not immune to this,” said Edmondson, whose hospital in the Texas Hill Country now often has more than 10 COVID-19 patients admitted, double the usual number.
Quite not—Texas recorded more than 10,800 new cases on Tuesday, a new daily record. As of Wednesday, officials reported 6,779 patients in hospitals and more than 19,300 confirmed deaths since the pandemic began.
Despite lack of federal restrictions and radio silence from Governor Greg Abbott, who hasn’t held a press briefing since lifting restrictions on restaurants and gyms in September, some cities and counties are trying their best to temper the virus that’s raging around them:
In El Paso, where more than 1,000 virus patients are hospitalized, local officials have shut down tattoo parlors, hair and nail salons and gyms — all steps that are beyond what Abbott has allowed. The state is fighting the move that Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton says is “oppressing” the border county of about 840,000 people, but local officials won a brief reprieve Wednesday when the Texas Supreme Court refused to make an expedited ruling.
El Paso has also added mobile morgues in anticipation of virus deaths overwhelming hospitals. I hope eating indoors is worth it!