Texas Governor Postpones Reopening Plan
On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he will "pause" the state's reopening plan amid an outbreak of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, according to Business Insider.
Businesses that have already reopened can continue to operate with limited occupancy, he said. "The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses," Abbott said in a statement on Thursday. "This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business."
Texas was one of the first states to start its reopening plan early in May. The state has seen a surge in coronavirus cases since then. It is unclear which business will be affected by the postponement of the reopening plan, but Abbott ordered hospitals in high outbreak areas to put off elective procedures to make room for coronavirus patients. On Tuesday, 5,489 cases were reported in the state.
The number of people in intensive care units has increased so much that many facilities have had to move patients elsewhere. As of Thursday morning, a record high 4,739 coronavirus patients were hospitalized.
Abbott blames the outbreak on young people that refused to follow social distancing guidelines or wear a mask. Last weekend, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission suspended the licenses of 12 bars for failing to comply with guidelines to combat the spread of the virus.
Abbott is urging residents to "do their part" in combating the spread of the virus by wearing a mask, washing hands regularly, and practicing social distancing. Texas has had 131,310 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus so far.
Other states have also experienced outbreaks. Florida, which also opened in early May, has been experiencing a massive surge. California has also seen a massive surge in the number of confirmed cases.