'COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas,' Abbott says, but closing down is 'last option'
Gov. Greg Abbott said COVID-19 cases are rising too quickly across Texas, but that he will not place additional restrictions on residents or businesses at this time.
"To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas and it must be corralled," Abbott said at a press conference Monday.
Shutting down the economy and the state of Texas remains the last resort, Abbott said.
"I've said all along that if the positivity rate or the hospitalization rate increased too much, we have strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 without returning to stay-at-home policies," Abbott said. "Closing down Texas again will always be the last option."
"COVID-19 remains a very fast-spreading virus that will remain in Texas, the United States and across the entire world until treatments are available to mitigate it," Abbott said. "As a result, we must find ways to return to our daily routines while also learning ways to coexist with COVID-19."
Abbott said that hospitals still have "abundant capacity" to treat patients with coronavirus. Nim Kidd, chief of Texas Division of Emergency Management, said the state has enough personal protective equipment at this time and is administering about 32,000 COVID-19 tests per day.
"We are at a very crucial point in time—as you can see—that the data, the trends are going up in a way that we really need to get control of," said John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. "Wear a face covering. That's a really great idea."
This story has been updated from the original.
- Austin hospitalizations trigger stage 4 risk - austonia ›
- With rising hospitalizations, Austin officials warn of surge - austonia ›
- Austin sees surge in coronavirus cases after reopening - austonia ›
- COVID-19 'does spread silently' as Austin hits record high - austonia ›
- Texas becomes state with highest COVID-19 cases - austonia ›
As Austin's "icepocalypse" melts into the rearview mirror, though day-to-day life has mostly resumed, the city has a long, arduous recovery process ahead. It seems as though no area was immune to the damage inflicted by the historic winter storm.
- It's snowing! Here's what that looks like in Austin - austonia ›
- Photos: Winter storm brings power outages, snow to Austin - austonia ›
- Snow day: power outages, icy roads and school closures - austonia ›
Austin restaurateurs say supporting Black-owned businesses shouldn't be a 'fad' but a year-round effort
After the devastating blow of the pandemic, Emojis Grilled Cheese Bar owner Hope Green saw a surge in sales last summer. The outpouring of community support for Black-owned businesses came in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice. But for Emojis the support has been fleeting.
- Restaurant industry on the brink in Austin and nationally - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants and businesses struggle due to COVID-19 ... ›
- Austin black-owned restaurants see support after protests - austonia ›
Scheduled showers, porta potties and hotel stays: Hundreds of Austin apartment complexes still don't have water
The last night Stephanie Landgraf, 25, spent in her apartment, off of Rundberg Lane, was on Valentine's Day. First, her power went off, only to return shortly after the complex lost water. Since then, she's been staying with friends. "There's no end in sight," she told Austonia. "At this point, I'm just angry."
- As reservoirs begin to refill, two zones regain water supply - austonia ›
- Austin faces 'multi-day' water crisis after winter weather - austonia ›
- Water distribution plan continues as Austin Water works to restore ... ›