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Week in Review: Texas rolls back reopening after coronavirus cases spike

The Lone Star State saw a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases this week, prompting action at the state and local levels.

HOUSTON — Texas hit unwelcome COVID-19 milestones every day this week. With cases spiking, hospitalizations growing, state and local officials were forced to take steps back.

Gov. Greg Abbott suspended elective surgeries in some of the larger counties like Dallas, Harris, Bexar and Travis. He did the same statewide earlier on in the spring, responding to the spreading pandemic.

“There is no need to shut down elective procedures just because there is a perception that cases are going up, when there is really no issue yet,” said electrophysiologist Andrea Natale.

“One of the challenges is from the time you’re exposed, to the time you’re hospitalized, is an 8-to-10 day lag,” said Texas Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon Austin Hill. “That means we’re not seeing hospitalizations from the patients who are getting infected today or even necessarily a week ago.”

Houston hospitals ready for surge

Officials at hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world, said they were ready for the surge.

Those CEOs said the spread is increasing and it’s very concerning, however, our hospitals are OK and ready to manage this surge appropriately and effectively.

Texas is prepared to bring in health professionals from out of state – similar to what New York City did during the height of its COVID-19 cases.

Texas schools planning for fall reopening

After announcing late last week students were safe to go back to school, the Texas Education Agency wasn’t prepared this week to answer questions about how public schools will handle health and safety come August.

Parents, students and school districts are still waiting for that guidance.

New closures in Texas due to COVID-19 spike

The week ended with Abbott closing bars, except for delivery and take-out, limiting restaurants to 50 percent capacity starting Monday, and shutting rafting and tubing.

Abbott prohibited nursing home and assisted living facility visitations.

However, he didn’t put any capacity limits on church or child care services, and stopped short of mandating facial coverings, instead encouraging them in his executive order.

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