Texas Coronavirus Cases
As of August 1, Texas reported 430,485 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Of these, 6,837 have resulted in death. Harris has the majority of cases with 72,967 reported. Dallas County was second with 49,976 and Bexar, with 33,515 was third. Tarrant County, with 28,410 cases, was fourth.
Texas Adds 7 More Weeks of Extended Benefits Due to High Unemployment Rate
Texas has doubled its benefit limits due to the staggering increase in unemployment rates despite reopening phases.
According to the state, some residents could receive up to 59 weeks of unemployment benefits. The Texas Workforce Commission on Wednesday announced that it had commenced a High Unemployment Period which spurred the extension of unemployment benefits. This is in addition to the 13 weeks of federal reimbursement triggered by the state's extended benefits program, and the 13 weeks of benefits from the Federal CARES Act.
Prior to the pandemic, the state usually limits unemployment benefits to 26 weeks. Currently, residents can now receive over a year of 59 weeks of unemployment benefits. Freelance and other gig workers, who are on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, could receive up to 46 weeks of economic aid.
The state enters the High Unemployment Period when the adjusted unemployment rate is above 8 percent, and it's greater than 110 percent of the corresponding prior years.
In May, Texas unemployment rate was 13 percent. Residents who are on the state's unemployment benefits along with the Federal CARES Act would have exhausted their benefits by July 4. Therefore, the 13 weeks for the additional benefit will kick off once they exhaust the previous benefits.
In addition to this, an individual may continue to receive benefits if they remain unemployed after those 13 weeks of additional benefits which will expire on Oct. 13. However the High Unemployment Period program will only continue if the state's economy qualifies for the aid. The program stops when the unemployment level falls to manageable rates.
"Every Texan has a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones to wear a mask, wash their hands, stay six feet apart from others in public, and stay home if they can. I know that our collective action can lead to a reduction in the spread of COVID-19 because we have done it before, and we will do it again."
Governor Greg Abbott
Governor Abbott Threatens To Mete Out Tough Actions As Coronavirus Numbers Continue To Rise In Texas
As coronavirus numbers in Texas continue to spike, Governor Greg Abbott has urged residents to play their part in curbing the spread of the virus, threatening to take tougher actions if the numbers don’t drop.
Governor Abbott, on Monday, June 22, said that if the daily coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Texas continue to climb at its current rates into July, the state will have to take ‘tougher actions’ to combat the spread of the virus.
“The way hospitalizations are spiking, the way that daily new cases are spiking, surely the public can understand that if those spikes continue, additional measures are going to be necessary to make sure we maintain the health and safety of the people of the state of Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “If we were to experience another doubling of those numbers over the next month, that would mean we’re in an urgent situation where tougher actions will be required to make sure that we do contain the spread of COVID-19,”
Since Memorial Day Weekend, Texas has continued to record increasing numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, with the state health officials reporting that over 3,700 Texans are currently hospitalized as a result of the coronavirus.
“All the way through the early part of May, Texas was moving in a very productive position,” said Governor Abbott. “And then around the time of Memorial Day there was an increase, and that increase has maintained for several weeks now, necessitating that next steps be taken.”
The governor also said that Texas would be working with the CDC to further ramp up testing in hotspots across the state and urged residents to wear face coverings in public, adding that counties could implement their individual face mask requirements depending on the level of coronavirus spread in the area.
“Wearing a mask will help us to keep Texas open, because not taking action to slow the spread will cause (COVID-19) to spread even worse, risking people’s lives and ultimately leading to the closure of more businesses,” said the governor.
As of June 22, the Texas Department of State Health Services has recorded 114,881 coronavirus cases and 2,192 coronavirus related fatalities in the state.
- 89,241 initial unemployment insurance claims were recorded in Texas during the week that ended on June 20
- As of April 2020, Texas has an unemployment rate of 12.8%
- 20% of Texans under the age of 65 have no health insurance
- 14.9% of Texans live in poverty
Texas Pauses Reopening As Coronavirus Numbers Continue To Soar
The state of Texas has temporarily placed a pause on its reopening plan as it continues to battle a surge in coronavirus numbers.
Governor Greg Abbott announced last week that all further phases of Texas’s reopening plan will be put on hold as the state contends with the recent surge in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
“As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families,” said Governor Abbott. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 5,747 new cases of the coronavirus in the state on Saturday, continuing a weekly trend of over 5,000 new cases being reported daily, with a highest single day count of 5,996 cases recorded on June 25. Coronavirus hospitalizations have also steadily risen, with 5,523 patients currently hospitalized in the state as a result of the virus.
The governor has also issued an executive order placing new restrictions on certain businesses and services in the state believed to have a direct link to the rise in numbers being recorded. Some of these restrictions include obtaining approvals from local governments for outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people, limiting dine-in services of restaurants to a maximum of 50% indoor capacity and closing down all indoor services for bars and establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages. However, these establishments may continue delivery and take-out services, including for alcoholic beverages.
“As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10%, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars. The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health.”
As of June 27, state health officials have recorded 143,371 coronavirus cases and 2,366 coronavirus related fatalities in Texas.