Texas Governor Says ‘Massive’ Virus Outbreak Sweeping the State

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Texas is experiencing a “massive outbreak” as Covid-19 cases multiply, Governor Greg Abbott said on Wednesday as hospital systems in the state’s biggest cities strained to handle the influx of patients.

Texas posted its worst day so far for new cases, with a jump of 5,551 to 125,921, according to the state health department. The 4.6% one-day rise exceeded the 3.7% seven-day average. Hospitalizations climbed by 7.3% to 4,389.

“Our infrastructure is overwhelmed,” David Persse, Houston’s director of emergency medical services, said during a media briefing on Wednesday.

Earlier, Houston-area hospitals predicted they may exceed intensive-care capacity as soon as Thursday. Such an overflow will force hospitals to tap so-called surge capacity as patient numbers grow, according to Texas Medical Center data. At current rates of infection, sustainable surge capacity would be exhausted in another 10 days.

“There is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the state of Texas,” Abbott, who was among the most aggressive governors on re-opening, said during an interview with KFDA TV.

“The numbers are moving in the wrong direction,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said during a media briefing.

Houston police and fire departments will step up monitoring of taverns and clubs to ensure compliance with occupancy limits and mask requirements.

“We want to really crack down on people who are not adhering to the rules,” Turner said. “We want to create a board of shame for those who are violating the rules.”

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