COVID-19 is 'spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas' - is SoCal next?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said COVID-19 is "spreading at an unacceptable rate" in the state after an alarming spike in cases across the region. Is Southern California next?
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said COVID-19 is "spreading at an unacceptable rate" in the state after an alarming spike in cases across the region. Is Southern California next?

During a briefing on Monday, the governor announced infection rates have gone from 4.5% in May to 9%.

"Hospitalizations for COVID-19 average just over 1,600 a day in the latter part of May," explained the governor. "In the last four or five days, hospitalizations have averaged more than 3,200 a day. To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled."

However, Abbott said there is now more testing being conducted in hot spots across the state, and said they're working with hospitals to make sure anyone with COVID-19 receives the proper treatment.

"Closing down Texas again will always be the last option," said Abbott, who continues to push for Texans to stay at home, wash their hands and practice safe social distancing.

As the fight to bring down the number of cases continues, last week, seeking to explain the trend, Abbott pointed to temporary spikes in positive tests in some isolated areas. But he also suggested young people specifically are not taking the virus seriously enough, saying there are "certain counties where a majority of the people who are testing positive ... are under the age of 30, and this typically results from people going to bar-type settings."
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As for California, Gov. Gavin Newsom provided a sobering update on Monday about the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state.

Newsom said more than 46,735 Californians have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 14 days, which represents 35.6% of all known cases since the outbreak began in March. A record number of people tested positive for the virus over the weekend.

"We're not into the second wave," warned the governor. "We're not out of the first wave."

"The testing is going up and up and up, but that doesn't tell the entire story," Newsom explained. "We're starting to see a slight uptick in the positivity rates."

Last week, 4.5% of those tested in California came back with a positive result. This week, that number modestly increased to 4.8%.

But the more stunning statistic is the rise in hospitalization: 16% over the past 14 days.

Even with that jump, Newsom emphasized hospitals around the state still have adequate capacity and more than 11,000 ventilators to treat the most sick patients.

Last week, Newsom issued a statewide order to require Californians to wear masks in high-risk settings in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus. On Monday, he reiterated the importance of wearing masks as more sectors of the economy are allowed to reopen.

At the moment, 11 counties are being monitored due to worsening COVID-19 trends: Fresno, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus and Tulare counties. Contra Costa County was on the watch list for a short time last week, but has since been removed.

MORE: LA County among California counties where COVID-19 trends are most concerning
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California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly provides data on COVID-19 cases in California on June 15, 2020.



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KTRK contributed to this report.
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