As the novel coronavirus outbreak continues in the U.S., Texas has reported its second, third and fourth highest daily spikes in cases since the outbreak began, within two days of the state easing lockdown measures on May 1.
On May 2, Texas reported 1,293 new cases, the second-highest count of new cases, and 1,026 new infections on May 3, the fourth-highest number of new cases since early March in the wake of the outbreak. May 1 marked the third-highest figure on record, with 1,142 new cases, according to the latest report Monday from Texas state health authorities.
Texas also recorded its highest daily death toll of 50 fatalities on April 30, just a day before the state’s reopening, Texas health authorities report.
The state has reported at least 32,332 cases, including 884 deaths, while around 16,000 have reportedly recovered from infection and at least 1,533 are currently reported to be in hospital, as of Monday.
The majority of the cases are in Harris County (6,838 cases), Dallas County (4,133), Tarrant County (2,584), Travis County (1,756), Bexar County (1,613) and Fort Bend County (1,183). The rest of the affected counties have each reported fewer than a thousand confirmed infections.
Harris and Dallas counties have reported the most deaths so far, with 133 and 111 deaths respectively, while other counties have seen fewer than around 75 fatalities.
From May 1, all retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums and libraries have been reopened but with occupancy limitations and other restrictions in place.
Churches have been advised to “strongly encourage” members of the congregation falling within the at-risk population (those aged 65 and older or with other health conditions) to participate in services remotely or to provide an area at the church property exclusively for attendees within the at-risk population.
The governor also announced the state has maximized its testing capacity to conduct 15,000 to 20,000 tests a day, with a goal to reach 30,000 per day in the near term.
Beachgoers at Galveston Beach on May 2, 2020 in Galveston, Texas.
Currently only around 1.4 percent (407,398 people) of Texas, the second largest state in the country with a population of 28.9 million, has been tested for the virus.
The second phase of the reopening is expected to begin on May 18, but Texas Governor Greg Abbott noted this step would have to be supported by data ensuring the outbreak is contained.
The latest reopening measures follow several protests against the previously issued stay-at-home order, including last month in the city of Frisco, within the Dallas-Forth Worth metro area. Many demonstrators were reported not to be following social distancing guidelines during the protests.
Last month, a lawsuit was filed against Abbott by pastors and other activists, claiming the stay-at-home order violated their constitutional rights.
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 3.6 million people across the globe, including over 1.1 million in the U.S. Over 252,100 have died following infection, while more than 1.1 million globally have reportedly recovered, as of Tuesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates U.S. states with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases.
U.S. states with the most coronavirus cases.
The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of the COVID-19 virus across the U.S.
The graphic shows the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases by U.S. State as of May 5, 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.
Mask and glove usage
Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.Do not reuse single-use masks.Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.