Texas is reporting decreases in cases and hospitalizations from the coronavirus, just over two weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order that lifted mandates related to the virus, allowing businesses to operate at 100-percent capacity with face masks optional.
The governor championed the numbers on Twitter, saying, “Today Texas recorded the lowest 7-day COVID positivity rate since that data began being calculated: 5.43%.” He also said that they “recorded the largest daily number of vaccines administered to Texans: 342,849. More Texans getting vaccines will keep down the positivity rate.” He continued, saying that receiving the coronavirus vaccine is “always voluntary.”
“We’ve been able to move that all the way up to the end of May to have enough [vaccines] for every American, to get every adult American to get a shot,” Biden told reporters at the White House shortly after Abbott’s decision was announced. “The last thing we need is the Neanderthal thinking.” Health officials have warned states against lifting mandates too quickly, saying that vaccinations may not prevent the spread of contagious coronavirus variants that are on the rise.
At the same time that Texas was reporting decreased cases, the nation reported a 7% increase, with an average of about 7,000 new cases each day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “I remain deeply concerned about this trajectory,” the director said. “We have seen cases and hospital admissions move from historic declines to stagnations and increases. We know from prior surges that if we don’t control things now, there is a real potential for the epidemic curve to soar again.” Walensky concluded, saying, “Please keep wearing your well-fitting mask and taking the public health actions now that we know can reverse these concerning trends.”
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ARTICLE: CHLOE CHANDLER
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS