Coronavirus in Texas

This article was originally published on July 4, 2020.

The United States has been an epitome of panic and confusion ever since it was hit with the pandemic we know as COVID-19. This novel coronavirus disease is a viral illness that affects the upper respiratory system and spreads quickly. Texas has seen rises and falls in COVID cases since it had its first case in March, and the state is trying to adjust to this new reality.

Cases in Texas

As of March 31, when the virus started to break out in Texas, there were 3,266 reported cases and 41 deaths in the state. That number has grown to 188, 834 cases and 2,601 deaths as of July 4. Texas now reports around 8,000 cases each day and is the third most affected state in the United States. It hit a new record of 8,076 new cases per day on July 1st.

Most Affected Counties

The most heavily affected counties are Harris County, with 34,108, Dallas County, with 23,675, Bexar County, with 14,224, Tarrant County, with 13,423, and Travis County, with 11,009 cases. The good news is that Texas is expected to reach its peak by October 6, and the situation will start to de-escalate. The state will reach its highest amount of cases and deaths, and the numbers will slowly begin to go down.

Government Measures

The government is also taking preventative measures to stop the further spread of COVID-19. After the state witnessed the second surge of cases in Texas after the “stay at home” order expired on April 30, Governor Greg Abbott closed down all bars and limited restaurants to 50%. On July 2, he issued another order requiring the mandatory wearing of masks in counties with over 20 cases, with a fine up to $1000 if failing to comply. This is important because wearing a mask can lower transmission rates down to 1.5%. Gov. Abbott also closed down beaches for the weekend of July 4 and advised citizens to stay home as much as possible.

Current Developments

The new mutated strain of COVID that is spreading is said to be more contagious because it makes it easier for cells to get infected. However, it is supposedly not any more deadly, allowing Texas to reach its peak faster, and for cases and deaths to lower. Hospitals are gradually getting used to managing ventilators and keeping death rates under control. Additionally, antiviral drugs that have been used on other viral illnesses, such as Remdesivir, and Chloroquine/Hydroxychloroquine, are being used on COVID-19 patients. Also, the vaccine developed from the drug company, Pfizer, and the biotechnology company, BioNTech, has shown positive results. Other vaccines are continuing to be developed and tested, so hopefully, we will see positive results soon.

The entire world has been in quarantine for around four months and reported over 11.1 million cases and 525,000 deaths. However, measures for prevention are being taken, and new methods of treatment are being discovered every day. While it may seem like a struggle, social distancing will help eliminate the virus. Along with that, it is crucial to wear a mask if you are going out. By following social distancing orders and CDC guidelines, we can all stay safe and help bring this pandemic to an end.