The Hill

Houston Mayor Proposes Shutdown, Wants Citizenry to Assume Responsibility

In mid-April, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began the reopening of the state, which had been shut down due to the spread of COVID-19. Abbot announced Texas had the second-most recoveries in the nation and healthcare facilities were allowed to resume certain activities.  By early July, however, Abbott issued an executive order requiring all Texans to wear a mask in public spaces in counties reporting 20 or more positive cases.

Cases in Texas had spiked so badly that the city of Houston would not host the Republican National Convention. The mayor, Sylvester Turner, held a news conference on July 15, pleading with the city's 7 million people to wear a mask. Turner said the city needs 90% compliance from all residents to get the results it wants.

Turner also announced 16 COVID-19 related deaths in one day, the highest yet for the city, with a total of 295 deaths, and 1,524 new cases, for a total of 17,677 confirmed cases. So far, there have been 3,112 deaths in Texas. This was the second time in less than a week that the area reported over 1,000 new cases in a single day.

A stay-at-home order might be reinforced to check the rising number of coronavirus cases. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo believes that this is the way to go for now until the hospitalization numbers go down, according to the Associated Press.

As for Turner, he believes there is nothing wrong if the region takes a step backward. He believes the city reopened too quickly and now they need to find ways to slow down COVID-19 hospitalizations. "We’re needing to slow down the number of people that are having to go the hospital," Turner said. "And the way we do it is what we did in March, April and May and that is you have to pull back, and separate to take the fuel away from this virus such that you can regain some modicum of control."

Face mask and COVID-19 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear face masks in public spaces to help reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus, especially in closed spaces like grocery stores, clinics, and hospitals. Pixabay

With the possibility of shutting down once more, in-person schooling might also be affected.  Turner explained that it makes no sense to even discuss it since COVID-19 is still far from being contained. "If you want to send your kids back, and I want the kids to go back for example in August, then in order to give people that added comfort you’ve got to get control of this virus in July," Turner said.

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