Public well being specialists in Texas warned of a dire outlook. Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, pleaded with residents to put on masks.
“The numbers are solely getting worse,” mentioned Lina Hidalgo, Harris County’s high elected official, who spoke of “vital, uncontrolled unfold” of the virus and “very disturbing developments” in hospitalizations.
“It’s so essential that each one of us modify our behaviors,” Ms. Hidalgo mentioned, “as a result of that’s the solely factor that’s going to maintain us from going right into a disaster.”
For now, at the very least, Houston is faring higher than its three bigger friends. Its per capita an infection fee is way decrease than that of New York Metropolis; Los Angeles County, Calif.; and Prepare dinner County, Sick., which incorporates Chicago. Prepare dinner County, which is barely bigger than Harris County, has 4 occasions as many instances and 13 occasions as many deaths.
Nonetheless, the developments are alarming throughout most of Texas, the place the financial system started to reopen in early Could.
The state’s testing positivity fee is now approaching 9 %, up about 4 factors from a month in the past. Greater than 3,200 coronavirus sufferers are hospitalized statewide, the very best quantity but, although many extra hospital beds stay accessible.
Within the Dallas space, residents will quickly be required to put on masks at companies.
“While you see a rise in hospitalizations, that there’s an exponential quantity beneath the water of people who find themselves sick and spreading the illness in our group,” Clay Jenkins, the highest official in Dallas County, said. “That’s why we’ve moved to masking.”