Amid record-high hospitalizations in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference Monday to address the recent increase of COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, Texas reported its 11th consecutive day of record-high hospitalizations with 3,711 cases. This comes just days after the state witnessed its highest daily total of 4,430 new cases.
“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,” Abbott said.
At the press conference, Abbott reiterated the health and safety guidelines in place and said Texans must find ways to return to a daily routine while learning to coexist with COVID-19.
Abbott said the state continues to work with hospitals to ensure that they have the resources to treat anyone who tests positive for COVID-19.
If hospitalizations and positive case increases get too high, Abbott said the state has strategies to reduce the spread of the virus without returning to stay-at-home policies.
“Closing down Texas again will always be the last option,” he said.
Early on, the state’s goal was to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that hospitals were not overrun, and Texas succeeded by following certain practices, he said.
“As a result, we did prevent our hospitals from getting overrun,” Abbott said. “And as we gather here today, hospitals continue to have abundant capacity to treat patients with COVID-19.”
Safety protocols established to minimize the spread of the virus since the conception of stay-at-home policies should continue to be followed, he said.
Core principles of these protocols include staying home if you’re sick or at-risk, frequently washing your hands, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others and wearing a face covering or mask when in public, he said.
“I know that some people feel that wearing a mask is inconvenient or that it is like an infringement of freedom,” Abbott said. “But I also know that wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open.”
As of Monday, Texas has reported an estimated 43,499 active cases and 69,190 recoveries, according to the Texas Health and Human Services COVID-19 tracker.
In Tarrant County, there are a total of 9,126 positive cases with 441 of those cases reported on Sunday, its second-highest daily total, according to the county’s website.
The community spread level in the county continues to be high.