AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas surpassed 2,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients for the first time Tuesday, but Republican Governor Greg Abbott said “everything remains largely contained” as the state prepares to lift more restrictions this week.
It marked the second consecutive day of Texas reporting a new high in hospitalizations, which Abbott has described throughout the pandemic as one of the most important metrics he follows. Seventeen new deaths and 1,600 new cases were also reported, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 298 additional positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total case count there to 12,645.
Abbott said the state is still trying to determine why the numbers are rising, mentioning the Memorial Day weekend as one potential culprit. Since the May holiday, hospitalizations in Texas have jumped 36%.
“I’m concerned, but not yet alarmed,” Abbott told CBS 11 News on Tuesday, saying thousands of hospital beds remain available.
Texas began reopening faster than much of the country and is continuing another phase of rebooting Friday by allowing restaurants to resume service at near capacity. Abbott gave no indication of reversing course and said it remains to be seen what impact mass protests across Texas over the death of George Floyd, who was buried Tuesday in Houston, will have on the state’s caseload.
“Everything remains largely contained. We do want to avoid any meaningful spike in the aftermath of these protests,” he said.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)