COVID-19 not ‘gone’ in Texas despite President Trump’s debate claim

Numbers show slow, but steady rise of COVID-19 in Texas

COVID-19 isn't "gone" in Texas, despite President Donald Trump's debate claim. (Associated Press, KSAT)

During Thursday night’s debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the president pointed to Texas as an example of fighting the spread of COVID-19.

“There was a very big spike in Texas, it’s now gone,” Trump said when asked about his response to the pandemic.

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While the spread of COVID-19 has improved compared to the summer surge that led the state to hold back on reopening plans, COVID-19 continues to claim the lives of Texans on a daily basis, and the numbers suggest trends are going in the wrong direction. For those reasons, Trump’s claim is not true.

Not True

After reviewing this topic, we've found some issues - It's not true.

Texas has come a long way from a COVID-19 surge in the summer, where case numbers and hospitalizations skyrocketed. Statewide, positivity rates surged toward 20% and more than 10,000 Texans were hospitalized while battling the virus in July.

Due to the surge, Gov. Greg Abbott paused reopening plans and shut down bars. Many county judges mandated masks in businesses and restaurants, restrictions that helped curb the infection rate.

As the numbers improved, Abbott moved forward with reopening phases in September and allowed bars to reopen in October.

But since September, hospitalizations have begun to increase again across Texas.

On Thursday, 4,931 COVID-19 hospitalizations were reported in Texas. The last time that many hospitalizations were reported in the state came on Aug. 24. They make up nearly 10% of current hospitalizations and 7.55% percent of total hospital capacity, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have jumped 55% since Oct. 1.

Certain regions in Texas continue to be COVID-19 hot spots, including El Paso, which has confirmed 3,750 new infections in the past week.

In Bexar County, officials are reporting a 7-day average of 168 new COVID-19 infections, a trend that has been steady since mid-August.

Hospital numbers are also staying steady in Bexar County, floating around 200 in the past several days.

While the local numbers do not show significant increases, experts agree that the winter could lead to a second wave of infections.

“I’m no longer pondering if we’re going to see a surge. We’re already seeing it,” Dr. James McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs at the Baylor College of Medicine, told the Texas Tribune. “The question is whether it’ll be a modest surge, or something like we saw in July, or worse."

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