AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Gov. Abbott announced in his latest update on Friday for the first time the number of Texans that have recovered from the coronavirus.
Patients qualify as “recovered” when they have gone more than 14 days without any coronavirus symptoms.
As of this writing, the State of Texas has tested roughly 116,000 residents for the virus and just under 11,500 have tested positive.
There are currently 1,532 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state and 221 deaths.
Abbott stated that there are currently 1,366 recoveries across the state, which he stated was the second-highest in the country.
The two-term governor spent several minutes going through graphs of Texas’ largest counties that provided numbers on total cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
He stated that there was evidence of the curve beginning to flatten new reported cases and hospitalizations, with the exceptions of El Paso and Harris Counties.
Abbott also said that next week he will be issuing an executive order that will center on re-opening businesses. He said that it would focus on how to “protect lives while restoring livelihoods.”
A statewide order that the governor released nearly two weeks ago tells residents to stay at home except to receive or provide “essential services.” That order will remain in effect for the next three weeks until April 30.
Many Republican leaders across the nation, including President Trump, have aimed to try and reopen many businesses by May 1. This in the midst of an unprecedented number of Americans applying for unemployment as a result of layoffs from the virus.
In the last three weeks, 16 million people, roughly 10 percent of the workforce, applied for unemployment benefits. That number is expected to still grow as there is a backlog in many states.
It remains yet to be seen whether that will be possible in Texas. Dr. Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, has said that “the virus will pick the date” on when people can go back.
The Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, said on Friday in an interview on “FOX and Friends”, said that it would be near impossible for most areas of the country to return to normal by May 1.
Abbott extended his thanks to all medical workers for their heroic efforts in the fights against the coronavirus. He will be lighting up the Governor’s Mansion blue on Saturday night in honor of them
This is a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.