Texas Gov. Greg Abbott detailed the progress that Texas has made in slowing the spread of COVID-19 during a news conference Friday afternoon, confirming that while more than 230 Texans have died after becoming infected with the virus, more than 1,300 have also recovered from the disease.
Abbott said he was remaining cautiously optimistic, but that it appeared the various stay at home orders in place around the state along with the executive orders issued by his office have begun to "flatten the curve" showing the rise of infection.
Though progress is being made at slowing the spread of the virus, that's no time to relax or ease restrictions currently in place through the end of the month and Texas are urged to continue practicing physical distancing and adhering to gathering restrictions of the Easter holiday weekend.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
According to recent data obtained from county health departments and the Texas Department of State Health Services, COVID-19 cases in Texas increased 46.6% to 11,689 cases between Monday, April 6 and Thursday, April 9.
Those cases show, with Texas population roughly at 30.5 million, that there are 3.8 cases of COVID-19 for every 10,000 people. Per county, those numbers look like this for April 6 through April 9.
- Collin County 3.5%
- Dallas County 5.4%
- Denton County 4.5%
- Ellis County 3.1%
- Erath County 3.1%
- Hood County 2%
- Hunt County 1.5%
- Johnson County 1.6%
- Kaufman County 1.6%
- Parker County .7%
- Rockwall County 1.6%
- Tarrant County 3.0%
- Wise County .5%
Elsewhere in Texas, where there are higher levels of infection such as Harris and Fort Bend counties, the numbers are 6.2% and 5.5%, respectively.
While going over a presentation Friday (see below), Abbott said the blue line showing the number of total cases will always go up, but that the red line showing new cases appears to be leveling off in many counties, showing the apparent flattening of the curve of infection.
The governor also noted the statistic showing the amount of time it takes cases to double dropping from three days to 6.3 days.
Abbott said next week he planned to issue an executive order outlining how the state will begin a reopen for business once it's official the risk of spreading the deadly virus has passed.
The governor also announced a new website for essential workers to help them find child care during the outbreak. The website maps locations where child care is available and shows inspection and compliance records for each business.
"We have a duty to support Texas health care workers and other essential employees as they work on the front lines of the COVID-19 response," said Abbott. "For essential workers with young children who don’t have other options, that means providing safe, regulated, and accessible child care. The Frontline Child Care Website will strengthen our child care capacity across the state, allowing our essential workers to continue their work to keep us safe and provide the critical services that Texans depend on. There is nothing more powerful than Texans helping Texans, and I want to thank child care workers across the state for stepping up to support our essential workers during these challenging times."
The site was built by the Texas Frontline Child Care Task Force, a coalition made up of the Supply Chain Task Force, Texas Workforce Commission, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
"The website also helps parents find other basic information about child care including health and safety information and step-by-step instructions for applying for child care financial assistance," the governor's office said in a statement. "Additionally, the website gives frontline employers guidance to assist their employees in need and provides child care centers and school districts resources to support their child care programs."
Abbott also provided an update on personal protective equipment (PPE) in Texas, including how private businesses across the state have stepped up to help produce PPE for medical personnel.
Lastly, Abbott said the Texas Governor's Mansion will be lit blue Saturday night in honor of frontline health care workers.
Coronavirus Cases in Texas
Locations on the map are approximate county locations and are not intended to identify where any infected people live.
Case data pulled from a variety of sources including county health departments, Texas Department of State Health Services, KXAN-TV in Austin and KPRC-TV in Houston.