Texas Shuts Down Bars As COVID Cases Spike

FRIDAY UPDATE #2: The People’s Republic of Florida joins Texas in shutting down the bars.

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FRIDAY UPDATE: CNN reports that GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is shutting down the state’s bars effective noon today as the growth of COVID-19 cases continues to accelerate :

Texas’ governor ordered further restrictions on businesses Friday, a day after he “paused” a phased economic reopening following a surge in coronavirus cases.

The state reported a record of almost 6,000 new cases on Thursday as infection numbers are rising in more than 30 states. The US has just set a daily record for new coronavirus cases, and federal health officials warned that the number of people who’ve been infected is vastly undercounted.

“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday in a news release.

Someone let Pat Neville know the “tyranny” is bipartisan now, at least in Texas.

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As The Hill reports, resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state of Texas is forcing that state’s fiercely conservative Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to “pause the reopening” of the state’s economy:

“As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families,” Abbott said in a statement. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.”

Experts have watched with growing alarm as the number of confirmed cases in Texas rise past 125,000. The state is dealing with an estimated 50,000 active cases, one of the highest numbers in the nation.

Texas has added more than 5,000 new cases on each of the last two days, and the number of overall cases has doubled since the end of May.

In Houston, hospitals are rapidly filling with new COVID-19 patients. Several major medical centers are already shipping patients to other facilities to create more space in intensive care units; Lyndon Baines Johnson Hospital said its ICU was over capacity, and the massive Texas Medical Center is operating at 97 percent capacity, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo (D) told reporters on Wednesday.

The recent growth in COVID-19 cases in Texas is of course very concerning given the close economic and cultural contact between that state and our own state of Colorado, separated as they are by just a few miles of Oklahoma where the virus is also spreading rapidly. We have no interest in disparaging Texans, or any other populations whose political culture may or may not contribute to a greater local susceptibility to spreading the disease.

But we are obliged to note that this is not Gov. Jared Polis pausing reopening of our state’s economy, for whom partisanship has made it all too convenient for Colorado Republicans to cast necessary measures taken to control the spread of the pandemic as liberal tyranny. And it’s very likely true that greater respect in Colorado for basic best practices like social distancing and mask wearing have kept us off the list of states with dramatically spiking caseloads–so far.

The one thing we can say, while wishing our neighbors in Texas well under these difficult circumstances, is that at least in Texas they have proof it’s not a Democratic “Plandemic.”

Hopefully that helps Texans take it more seriously, better late than never.

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16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Worrisome indeed … hospitalizations and ICU use are lagging indicators.  With the continuing rise in cases, Texas will be crashing through "normal" capacity.

    A massive rise in testing followed by rigorous contact tracing would be the alternative to broad shut downs.  So, Gov. Abbott will have 3 choices:  massive deaths, shutting down businesses, or substantial additional spending for tests and hiring tracers. None of them fit into Republican orthodoxy and political praxis.

  2. ajb says:

    I’ll leave this here:

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      We are witnessing Dan Patrick's health care reform in action.

      Polis needs to do what Cuomo, Murphy and Lamont did in the northeast and require Texans to go into quarantine for 2 weeks before entering Colorado.

       

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        In Dan’s defense, he’s had his hands pretty full these last couple of weeks trying to get white-prosperity jezus to solve the racism problem (… which Tucker Carlson says doesn’t even exist — racism that is, not white-prosperity jezus …) that only he can . . .

        https://youtu.be/v2RrAoTfIns

        . . . And, anyway, this is not a crisis.  It’s just a lot of Dan’s very good Texans finally getting on board with his (… Dan’s, that is, — not sure about where white-prosperity jezus is on this one, but maybe? …) program and lining up to do their duty. 

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      it isn't a PURELY partisan issue … but looking at the states by their Governors' parties, the trends seem clear Source is tamino, aka Grant Foster, a professional data geek. Data are straight from Johns Hopkins University site.

      Even with Democratic California experiencing an extraordinary rise.  And Republican Massachusetts and Maryland being on the other side. 

  3. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    When will Colorado Republicans apologize for calling our Governor’s REASONABLE, thoughtful measures to protect against COVID-19 “liberal tyranny”?

    The GOP is at risk of becoming about as irrelevant as isolationists after Pearl Harbor. 

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    People, people, people — watch your FOXNews!  Texas has way, way bigger problems to worry about today than some eensy-weensy virus. .  .

    Massive spider found clinging to Texas home: ‘I was terrified!’

    [On June 19, the couple found the eight-legged unwelcomed guest, which appeared to be bigger than the size of a human hand, crawling on the back patio door of their San Antonio home.]

    https://apple.news/AVN6h5MLnSQK7tloXD9YUmw

    Tune in for more in-depth coverage of this latest breaking south Texas invasion crisis at 11:00 on Tucker Carlson, where he leads a panel discussion on the need for additional border wall . . .

  5. spaceman65 says:

    This was both completely predictable and completely predicted.  The US is a failed state.  

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      We're the Florida of the global community. 

    • NOV GOP meltdown says:

      Indeed spaceman.  The leadership of our country can't admit a virus that has already killed 126 thousand Americans and is spreading rapidly again is a real problem. They can't possibly do that because they are too busy focusing on so many things that aren't real, like Qanon, the deep state, fake news, etc.

      I see all the bitching by imbeciles at the Palm Beach County meeting this week about the massive horror and indecency of having to wear a mask, and I wonder what it was that happened in these peoples lives that made them so fucking deficient and willfully ignorant.

      Our country is quite possibly in the worst shape it has ever been in.

  6. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Choice of what to shut down:

    "At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities,…" Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday in a news release.

    • bars may remain open for delivery and take-out, including alcoholic beverages.
    • Restaurants can have only 50% capacity for dining in.
    • Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
    • Outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments

    So, not churches. Not businesses. Not retail stores. Not child care services, local government operations or youth camps. A statewide mask-wearing order is not needed in Texas.

    • 2Jung2Die2Jung2Die says:

      Plus, there's a ton of latitude in giving local governments the authority to approve mass gatherings. Some local governments make the Libertarian Party look like the nanny state.

  7. Diogenesdemar says:

    The message needs to get out loudly and repeatedly — this is exactly what Colorado will look like again shortly if people (not a few people, not some people, not just scaredy liberals, but nearly every swingingbody) — don’t resume and continue some reasonably simple and not terribly burdensome precautions:  wash your hands, wear a mask when out in public, stay distanced, avoid crowded areas, don’t be an idiot, don’t be an idiot, don’t be an idiot.

    The disease ain’t going away!  Deal with it, responsibly!

    • kwtreekwtree says:

      My daughter works at an upscale restaurant in Littleton. The customers, whom she describes as “entitled yuppies”, wear masks while standing in line, but immediately take them off when seated. They might be seated 8 at a table like that. As alcohol flows, people get more careless. Staff is masked but not gloved. Don’t know what kitchen staff are doing. There is one air conditioning system with multiple duct paths, and the virus may be spread  in AC systems with sufficient humidity. 
       

      The restaurant has outdoor seating, and attempts to implement social distancing. But I’m terrified for her and her children, and afraid of what they might expose me to, as well. ( you try explaining social distancing to a toddler). .

      Staying well away from these COVID factories.

      Watched Pence do his happy talk routine, lie blatantly ( Oklahoma’s doing great!), avoid even saying “mask”,  and speak for Fauci during the Coronavirus task force briefing this morning. Sheesh. Birx’s presentation was amateurish- dozens of charts about viral spread in various states, but slides were illegible as they were just poorly photographed and thrown into an obviously hastily prepared presentation. Guess they didn’t want reporters to have access to the real data.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        "COVID Factory"sounds appropriate. Pre-pandemic, I did not eat out a lot. Since the shutdown began in mid-March, I've had take out exactly three times, and from the same restaurant.

        I would do Subway a couple times a month. But not since February. Now, who knows what some unmasked teenage worker is breathing out?

  8. RepealAndReplace says:

    Does the Texas state constitution have a 25th Amendment counterpart? If so, Dan Patrick and the rest of the Free Dumb lovers in the Texas state government need to stage a coup.

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