Nearly three weeks have passed since the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic. Texas currently ranks 12th in the country for confirmed cases.
A third of the cases in the state have taken place in Harris County and Dallas County.
On March 18, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston all opened drive-through testing sites, bringing a dramatic increase in the number of Texans who tested positive for the virus:
The lack of testing sites has been especially evident in Houston, where a second free testing site just opened Wednesday.
Public officials from the federal to local level have encouraged “Stay Home, Work Safe” orders, calling for all non-essential businesses to work from home. Abiding by this order will help “flatten the curve,” or slow the spread of the infection among the general population
In a press conference on Tuesday, Abbott directed Texans to refrain from having non-essential gatherings. He then used ambiguous language to characterize his stay-at-home advisory, suggesting terms like “stay at home” and “shelter in place” were misleading.
As a result, city and county officials have had to take it upon themselves to enforce “stay-at-home” orders. At least 37 counties in the state, including Harris, Dallas, Bexar, and Tarrant County, have extended their stay-at-home orders. Despite that, the number of confirmed cases continues to grow, although it could be some time before those measures actually impact the curve:
The first case of COVID-19 in Texas was identified on March 4. And as of Wednesday, positive cases topped 3,200.
Out of the total number of tests in Texas, 3,997 have tested positive and 47,857 negative. More than two weeks have passed since the first coronavirus-related death was reported in the state.
As of today, Texas has recorded 58 deaths and 196 hospitalizations.
Photo: Carol Coelho/Getty Image
Sarah brings more than seven years of experience as a multimedia journalist to Texas Signal, where she serves as our Podcast and Video Producer, managing the company's three podcasts, including SignalCast, TexMix Podcast and Three Righteous Mamas, and assisting with copy-editing and social media as well. Sarah is also the Editor-at-Large at Brown Girl Magazine, and an avid artist, TV/film enthusiast and cook. Sarah graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Journalism, and received a Master's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Houston.