Texas Is On Track For A Full COVID-19 Outbreak, According To New Research
Texas is one of multiple states, including Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, that is on the verge of a full COVID-19 outbreak, according to research by the non-profit COVID Act Now.
The research, that's been incorporated into a user-friendly national map of information, looks at factors including infection rate, positive test rate, available ICU capacity, and contact tracing.
Out of the different rating levels - on track to contain COVID-19, controlled disease growth, at risk, and active or imminent outbreak - Texas is holding strong at the 'at risk' level. By this definition, COVID cases in Texas are either increasing at a rate likely to overwhelm hospitals and/or the state’s COVID preparedness is well below international standards.
As for the infection rate in the state, each person in Texas with COVID is infecting 1.17 other people. As such, the total number of active cases in Texas is growing at an unsustainable rate. The research urges caution due to this infection rate number listed as 'high'.
We've seen more testing centers popping up across the state, and according to COVID Act Now, Texas' relatively high percentage (11.1%) of COVID tests were positive, which indicates that testing in Texas is limited and that most cases may go undetected.
Hospitals across the state are on edge - including a special case in Houston where Texas Children's Hospital (that usually only admits children patients) is opening beds for adult COVID-19 patients. According to the research, Texas has about 6,663 ICU beds. COVID Act Now estimates that 42% (2,798) are currently occupied by non-COVID patients. With 3,865 ICU beds remaining, it is estimated that 1,329 are needed by COVID cases, or 34% of available beds.
Texas is putting forth an effort in contact tracers - right now with 3,192 contact tracers. With an average of 3,881 new daily cases, it's estimated that Texas needs 19,405 contact tracing staff to trace all new cases in 48 hours, before too many other people are infected.
Not a lot of great news here. The most shocking bit of this information was at the end of the report regarding the next 30 days. COVID Act Now predicts that if the state lifts all restrictions, the hospital overload date would be approximately July 20, 2020. At this rate, 51% of the population will be infected, along with approximately 29,000 deaths. It's no surprise, that as of today, Governor Greg Abbott has halted the Texas reopening plan.
As for East Texas counties, the COVID-19 infection rate in Smith County sits at 1.2, in Greg County at 1.02, Harrison County at 1.0, and Rusk County with the highest level at 1.78.