Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tried to tamp down fears of a second coronavirus wave on Tuesday as the state set new records for daily cases and hospitalizations.
The Lone Star State’s health department tallied 2,622 new infections, the most reported in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.
There is also a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations for the eighth time in nine days, with 2,518 – an increase of nearly 200 since Monday.
“It does raise concerns, but there is no reason right now to be alarmed,” Abbott said, urging people to wear masks and stay home as much as possible.
Abbott pointed to an uptick in testing and reporting delays as the reason for the jump in daily case numbers.
He also placed some of the blame on folks under 30 going maskless or flouting social distancing rules at “bar-type settings” or Memorial Day celebrations.
“We think we can also say precisely that there has been an increase – especially starting around the Memorial Day time period and going through a few weeks after that – an increase in people testing positive because they may not be practicing all these safe standards,” Abbott said. said.
The Republican governor assured people that Texas’ health care system could withstand surges in cases and hospitalizations with nearly 15,000 open beds, including nearly 1,700 in intensive care units.
Texas began aggressively reopening on May 1, and continued to lift its lockdown, despite the increase in infections. In just the past week, Abbott allowed retailers, restaurants and amusement parks to increase capacity.
At least two other states, Florida and Arizona, have also seen an increase in cases in recent weeks.
The Sunshine State on Tuesday tallied 2,783 new cases – setting a record for the fourth time in six days.
New cases in the Grand Canyon State hit a daily high of nearly 2,400 – almost double the previous record, health officials said. The state also reported 25 additional deaths, while hospital intensive care units were hovering around 80 percent capacity.
With Post Straightening