The coronavirus is testing Texas: For the past three weeks, the Lone Star State has ranked second to last in completed tests per capita in the country.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, Texas has administered around 3,660 tests per 1 million residents, while administering roughly 1,700 tests the week before — disappointing figures for a state with a population of 29 million people.
In a press conference Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the latest numbers show positive signs for Texas, but warned that “glimmers of hope were attached to red flags.” He cited reports showing Texas having the “second highest recoveries,” and said Sunday had seen the lowest number of positive tests in a week. Abbott admitted he was unsure if the confirmed cases that day were because fewer people tested on Sunday or because positive cases were indeed dropping down.
Texas has increased its testing each week, yet still trails every state in the nation.
As of Tuesday, there have been more than 14,000 cases of coronavirus reported in Texas, including 315 fatalities. Nearly 2,300 patients have recovered from the virus.
Abbott also announced that he will be organizing a team this week that will look at how — and when — to “open the Texas economy back up.” Abbott emphasized that when the economy does open up, it will not be a “flood-the-gates” type of opening, rather, opening “carefully while also containing the virus.”
And on Monday, Abbott extended his disaster declaration for all Texas counties in response to the coronavirus.
“I urge all Texans to continue practicing social distancing and abide by the guidelines laid out by the CDC and my Executive Orders to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said.
Abbott first issued the declaration on March 13. As of today, the governor’s stay-at-home order is in effect until April 30.
Photo: Dan Tian/Xinhua via Getty Images
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.