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AUSTIN -- With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise nationally, TexPIRG released a new fact sheet today, showing Texas is “trending poorly” when it comes to meeting COVID-19 containment criteria. This is the second week TexPIRG has tracked in-state coronavirus efforts. Last week, Texas received a “trending poorly” grade.
As a result, TexPIRG is calling on Texas to maintain all current restrictions related to COVID-19, and take additional measures to improve containment.
“From week-to-week, the clear message from public health experts has remained the same: Take this pandemic very seriously or suffer dire consequences,” said Lauren Banister, TexPIRG Public Interest Associate. “For the second week in a row, Texas is failing to meet the majority of benchmarks to safely reopen. Gov. Abbott should be commended for implementing a mask requirement. However, he must do a lot more to fully safeguard the health and welfare of our citizens.”
These findings are based on an evaluation by CovidExitStrategy.org. The nonpartisan group of public health and crisis experts that ranked Texas based on an analysis of the state’s performance on four Centers for Disease Control-recommended benchmarks: 14-day decline in influenza-like illness; declining COVID positive cases; diminishing percentage of COVID positive cases; and appropriate hospital capacity.
As of July 6th, Texas was meeting one of four benchmarks. Specifically, Texas saw a minor improvement in ICU capacity but COVID-19 related inpatient hospitalizations are still rising. Texas is falling short on all other benchmarks that TexPIRG is monitoring and is ranked as “trending poorly”.
Nationally, only 3 states are meeting the standards in all four categories as of July 6th.
“Simply put, right now, Texas is not doing what is vitally necessary to combat COVID-19 when it comes to these crucial benchmarks.” said Banister “Texas must take additional measures to improve containment of the virus including prohibiting indoor seating at restaurants statewide and closing non-essential businesses in current COVID-19 hotspots”
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