The state of Texas became the first to surpass 1-million COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with El Paso bearing the worst of increasing numbers. The border city has closed beauty salons, tattoo parlors and gyms in response to the recent uptick, which includes over 1,000 hospitalizations, despite no official mandate issuance by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Hospitals are becoming overwhelmed, forcing the city to set up mobile morgues in order to contend with the grim and mounting death toll. Texas State University’s home of Lubbock County reported an 80% increase of cases last week, with close to 3,400 new infections.
Amid the pandemic crisis, with a new one-day statewide total of 10,8000 infections recorded on Tuesday, Texas state officials have not issued any Covid-related restrictions, nor have they indicated any intention to do so any time soon. In Fort Worth, the top county official is urging a halt to all sports activities for schools and youth groups. The hard-hit rural panhandle region is also coping with the necessity to set up medical tents outside hospital facilities in order to deal with the overload of new cases.
Wednesday’s statewide case rate includes 6,779 new hospitalizations – a 609 one-day increase from the previous day’s total and is among the highest since the state began recording coronavirus case numbers. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office said Texans should take this virus very seriously and be prepared to help curb the spread by hand-washing, social distancing and wearing masks.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.