Texas reported its highest hospitalization rates since the coronavirus began but officials have no plans to halt reopening plans
Anita Pedy (R), chief nursing officer of the COVID department at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, takes a patient from the emergency room to the COVID department on May 6, 2020.
Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Texas does not stop plans to reopen, although hospitals have had a record number of coronavirus patients.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state will continue to open "because we have so many hospital beds available for anyone who gets sick."
Texas is not the only state to record records as authorities in states like Arkansas and North Carolina have also expressed concern after an increase in coronavirus cases.
The White House Infectious Disease Expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that while the country saw an increase in infection rates as economies reopened, the increase in hospital admissions was worrying.
Other states, including Oregon and Utah, have temporarily suspended plans to reopen as they investigate the increase in coronavirus cases.
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Texas will not stop its reopening plans, although hospitals report a record number of coronavirus patients for the third day in a row.
According to the Washington Post, more than 2,100 people in the state were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Friday. Intensive care units in Houston are reported to be 88 percent full.
When asked about the increase in cases, Texas governor Greg Abbott said that although he was "concerned", he was not "alarmed".
In an interview with KYTX Television, Abbott said it was "not really necessary to push back the opening of stores in the state." One reason for this is "that we have so many hospital beds available for everyone who gets sick".
"There are 10 open hospital beds for each person in a hospital bed," said Abbott. "So there is enough hospital capacity to handle COVID-19."
His comments come because restaurants in the state may be 75% full as of Friday, the Texas Tribune reported. Almost all other companies are allowed to work at 50% capacity.
The White House Infectious Disease Expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that with the reopening of economies, the country would see an increase in infection rates, but the increase in hospital admissions was worrying.
"If you see more hospital stays, it's a sure sign that you're in a situation where you're going in the wrong direction," said Fauci.
Texas is not the only state where coronavirus cases are increasing. Arkansas reported 731 new COVID-19 cases, the highest increase in one day, according to local media.
On the same day, North Carolina also saw the highest increase since the onset of the outbreak in one day, exceeding 40,000 infections.
Gibbie Harris, health director of the Mecklenburg district, said on Friday: "We continue to see a decline in social distance and will shortly be back where we were when we placed the order for the stay at home."
In the meantime, other states have seen an increase in cases over the past week, pausing or slowing their reopening.
In Utah, Governor Gary Herbert ordered most of the state to stop reopening by June 26, while in some cases a new top was under investigation. "I don't want to go forward and then take a step back," Herbert said Friday, according to Reuters.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced Thursday a week-long postponement of reopening requests.
In a statement quoted in Reuters, Brown said, "This is essentially a nationwide 'yellow light.' It's time to take a week off before another reopening."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week new guidelines for coronaviruses that "strongly" promote the use of fabric face covers at major events such as demonstrations or political rallies.
In an interview with ABC News, Fauci said of the recent protests, "You know, it's a danger to people trying to control the demonstration. And it's a danger to people who demonstrate. So at the end of the day it's a risky process. "
Fauci said he understands why people are protesting, but official advice remains to avoid crowded places. "If you can do both, avoid gathering people and make the mask, that's great," he said.
This week, the U.S. passed 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases. The country also recorded more than 112,000 deaths - the worst in the world, according to Worldometers.
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