Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted that Samaniego “has no authority to shut down businesses in El Paso County.”. The state also hit another grim record Thursday: 105 people died of COVID-19. The tweet also asserted that the order “is a direct violation” of Abbott’s executive order opening businesses. AUSTIN, TEXAS — Republican Gov. Shannon Najmabadi and Edgar Walters contributed reporting. Idiot Republicans running the state and idiots not wearing masks. But, by the end of the month, the state had 73,908 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with nearly a third coming in the previous week. That redefinition is problematic, according to hospital administrators in parts of Texas that have seen the most infections. “My hands are tied,” Parrish said. El Paso officials reported two new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total deaths to 585, and 1,128 new positive tests on Thursday, bringing the total active cases there to more than 14,000. “Our focal point is gonna be working to heal those who have COVID, get them out of hospitals quickly, make sure they get back to their normal lives.”, In one TV interview, Abbott said the treatments — along with the promise of a vaccine soon — mean Texans have entered the “ninth inning of our challenge with COVID.”. In Laredo, the City Council voted Monday to limit private gatherings to 10 people plus household members. Hospitalizations have also been on a brisk upward trajectory, and deaths, which tend to lag behind the other metrics, have been creeping up. Despite “euphoria” about recent vaccine announcements, the rollout of the vaccines will be systematic and measured, and for “a long time, we’re still going to need to wear masks and socially distance,” said Eric Boerwinkle, dean of the UTHealth School of Public Health. Abbott blasted the order shortly after it was issued, saying Samaniego “failed to do his job” enforcing existing rules to slow the spread of the virus “and is now illegally shutting down entire businesses.”. “The protocols proved effective in slowing the spread over the summer and containing COVID-19, and they can continue to work, but only if they are enforced,” an Abbott spokesperson, Renae Eze, said in a statement for this story. Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said he was worried about hospitals in the Texas Panhandle and the Dallas-Fort Worth region becoming overwhelmed with sickened patients. They wanted to know: Would Texas shut down again? Six days later, he took arguably his most drastic action yet, announcing a statewide mask mandate. Disclosure: The University of North Texas Health Science Center has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Thats why cases and deaths are so high here in Texas. His last conference was Sept. 17, when he announced the relaxed restrictions for hospital regions below the 15% threshold. The 119 newly reported COVID-19 fatalities raised the Texas death toll to 17,819 since the pandemic first struck at the start of March. "This is a governor that issued a stay at home order," Samaniego said. “I worry a little bit that people are letting their guard down because they see a vaccine over the horizon,” Boerwinkle said. HOUSTON — Just 55 days after reopening Texas restaurants and other businesses, Gov. The mask order remains in place, but last week he ruled out “any more lockdowns,” and tensions are again rising with local officials who want more authority to impose safety restrictions. “I felt powerless in my plight to save people's lives,” said Martinez, a doctor. As a nonprofit newsroom, we rely on members to help keep our stories free and our events open to the public. The move comes as the number of COVID … This is due to several consecutive days where COVID-19 hospitalized patients have exceeded 15 percent of the total hospital occupancy rate. Exhibit A in the state-local tensions is hard-hit El Paso County. Regions that reach that threshold have to reduce the occupancy of most businesses from 75% to 50% of capacity, among other things. Samaniego said all election-related activities, including campaigns and voting, also were deemed essential activities. Gov. "With new coronavirus cases on the rise, residents of El Paso, Texas, nestled on the … Parts of the country are scrambling to shut down once again as … Abbott Says, VIDEO: Arlington Police Respond To Calls About ‘Unknown Creature’: ‘I Did Not Mean To Cause A Disturbance’, 2 New Federal Charges For North Texas Realtor Jenna Ryan Following Capitol Riot, Uber Eats Driver With 3 Kids, Ryan Munsie, Killed At Haltom City Apartment Complex, Woman Killed In Crash Involving Car And School Bus In North Fort Worth, Collin County To Open Its First Large COVID-19 Vaccination Center Wednesday In Plano, Grand Prairie ISD Issues Apology For Newsletter Photo Of Teachers Wearing 'Chucks & Pearls' After Complaints From Staff, Medical Examiner: Texas Man Found Dead Near Mountain Lion Spotting Was Victim Of An 'Animal Attack', Trio Wanted For Armed Robbery At Dallas Mexican Restaurant, More Texas Police Officers Indicted After Deadly Drug Raid That Killed Husband & Wife, State Rep. Kyle Biedermann Files Bill Inching Closer To Vote On Texas Independence, 'His Life Hadn't Even Started': Texas 9-Year-Old J.J. Boatman Passes Away From COVID-19 Complications. ), By viewing our video content, you are accepting the terms of our. He also noted that El Paso's share of hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is several times Abbott's 15% trigger, but it's still artificially low because the county added 580 spots to its hospital capacity. Greg Abbott at a June press conference about the coronavirus. This week, more than 7,400 Texans are hospitalized for COVID-19, and the positivity rate has exceeded 10% for over three weeks. It’s not just El Paso County, though, where local officials are pushing for more latitude from Abbott. “Every surge represents a failure by an elected leader.”. Of those, an estimated 98,775 cases were active Thursday, the most since Aug. 28. Greg Abbott’s “warning flag” level of 10% for more than a week. As the number of new coronavirus cases in Texas continues to rise and hospitals grow more crowded, Gov. With two new highly contagious strains of COVID recently identified—the U.K. strain and the South African strain… Tests confirmed another 9,782 infections, down from Tuesday’s single-day record of 10,028. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and a cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Illinois Gov. Samaniego said conversations with Gov. “It’s the job of every elected leader, whether it’s in Texas or anywhere else in the U.S., to prevent a surge on intensive care units,” he said. Ohio has instituted a statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting Thursday. City Council member Marte Martinez said he would have liked to do more, such as implement a curfew and beef up enforcement for businesses that violate state rules. 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