Texas ‘Halts’ reopening and California ‘Budget Emergency’

Texas ‘Halts’ reopening and California ‘Budget Emergency’

Texas governor / Image=Wikipedia

[Newsphopick=Gyubin Lee] Texas Gov. Greg Abbott paused any further phases to reopen the state on Thursday and issued an order to ensure hospital beds be available for Covid-19 patients. Abbott's moves came as his state, California and Florida -- the three-most populous -- set records for new COVID-19 cases daily amid fears of "apocalyptic" surges in major Texas cities if the trend continues. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also indicated that his state would not be moving to relax present restrictions.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a budget emergency to free up $16 billion to fight the pandemic, according to a release from his office. 

The state could pause further reopening of its economy -- and even "toggle back" -- if health officials continue to see increases in infections and hospitalizations, Newsom suggested at a press conference Thursday. 

And the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the US has only counted about 10% of coronavirus infections. That might mean as many as 20 million Americans have been infected. 

Officially, coronavirus has killed at least 122,481 people and infected more than 2.4 million nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

Florida and Texas announced Wednesday that they had recorded more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases the prior day, a new daily record. California reported more than 7,000 cases, obliterating a record hit a day earlier. 

Hospitals in California have seen a 32% increase in patients with the coronavirus over the last 14-day period, reaching an all-time high since the pandemic began, Newsom said. The number of patients in intensive care units has reached a record high after increasing 19% over the last two weeks. 

Florida passed 5,000 again on Thursday, according to new state data. Florida, Texas, and California account for 27.4% of the 328 million people living in the US, according to the latest US Census Bureau estimates.

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