AUSTIN, TX — Two days after Gov. Greg Abbott announced plans to reopen the state economy starting on Friday, 42 new deaths from new coronavirus were reported in Texas and 883 more cases were diagnosed.
The upshot: The total number of cases now has risen to 27,054 and 732 deaths to date, according to the Texas Depatment of Health State Services. According to a dashboard updated daily, 314,790 tests for the respiratory illness have been taken in a state of some 29 million people. The dashboard also indicates that 1,702 patients are currently hospitalized.
Health officials also noted on the dashboard that 12,507 people have since recovered from the illness.
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On Monday, the number of new coronavirus in Texas grew by 666, briging the to-date total count to 25,297 and 663 fatalities — 15 more deaths than the previous day. The upgraded count brought the total number of cases then to 24,631 and 648 deaths statewide.
The counties with the greatest concentration of illness, as of Wednesday, are:
- Harris: 5,986 cases.
- Dallas: 3,240 cases.
- Tarrant: 2,088 cases
- Travis: 1,539 cases
- Bexar: 1,307 cases.
- Fort Bend: 973 cases.
- El Paso: 857 cases.
- Denton: 738 cases.
- Collin: 692 cases.
- Montgomery: 562 cases.
Despite the growing rate of illness, Abbott on Monday announced plans to gradually reopen the state economy. To that end, the governor an Executive Order on Monday that will allow all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls to operate at 25 percent capacity by May 1 as part of a multi-phased reopening of the state economy stalled by the new coronavirus outbreak.
Within shopping malls, the food-court dining areas, play areas, and interactive displays and settings must remain closed as part of the order, Abbott said during his news conference staged at the state Capitol. Abbott said the order also will allow museums and libraries to reopen but with no greater than a 25 percent capacity of patrons.
- Coronavirus: Texas Cases Grow To 25,297, 15 More Deaths
- Texas Governor Allows Malls, Restaurants, More To Open By May 1
In rural counties of Texas, shops and restaurants with fewer than five coronavirus cases can reopen up to 50 percent of occupancy. But Abbott said counties could revert back to more limited capacity if there is a new outbreak of coronavirus cases.
If a two-week downward trend of illness is seen after the partial reopening, more businesses — chiefly bars, hair salons and gyms — would then be reopened as well, Abbott said.
And yet, the illness count continues to grow statewide. In the three days since Abbott announced his plans to reopen the economy, 2,423 new cases of new coronavirus were reported by Texas health officials. In the same three-day period, 84 more people have died of the respiratory illness statewide.
The breakdown so far this week:
- Monday: 666 new cases reported, 15 more deaths.
- Tuesday: 874 more cases, 27 deaths.
- Wednesday: 883 additional cases, 42 more deaths.
The day before Abbott unveiled his plans to reopen the economy — on Sunday, April 26 — the illness count rose by 858 from the previous day, bringing the total to 24,631. Patch will continue to update on the growing illness count.