Texas Gov. Greg Abbott hit pause on progressing to further reopening phases and issued an executive order to expand hospital capacity as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rise in the state. Businesses that have been allowed to open so far will be allowed to remain open at a limited capacity, Abbott said Thursday. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses,” he said in a statement. “This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business.” Abbott also suspended all elective surgeries in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties, and could add more counties to this suspension at a later date. Public health experts have deemed Texas’ reopening strategy as too quick and reckless, and the state has not followed federal guidelines on testing or contact tracing. The state saw a record-breaking 5,551 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.
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