The Texas Department of Health reported Saturday that there are more than 47,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state, with over 1,800 new cases reported Saturday, as the state ramps up testing in areas that it has declared high risk. It’s the largest single-day increase in confirmed cases in Texas since the pandemic began.
There were 33 additional deaths reported Saturday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the Lone Star State to 1,305.
Meanwhile, Texas is moving forward with plans to reopen. On Monday, gyms can open with 25% capacity, and they must space equipment and provide cleaning products throughout the gym, CBS Houston affiliate KHOU-TV reports. Nonessential manufacturing and work offices can reopen with 25% capacity as well.
Currently, the largest number of cases have been reported in the state’s two largest counties: Dallas County and Harris County, which includes the city of Houston. Potter County, which includes the city of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle, accounts for more than 2,100 of the state’s cases. There are more than 600 confirmed cases in neighboring Randall County.
More than 700 cases were reported Friday in the Amarillo region, which includes Potter County and Randall County, where meatpacking plants have been targeted for increased testing. Governor Greg Abbott said in a press release Saturday that on May 4, he had deployed a Surge Response Team to Amarillo consisting of medical workers and the Texas National Guard to test the meatpacking facilities.
“These teams conducted a site survey of high-risk areas to begin testing employees in meat packing facilities,” Abbott said in the release. “Today, Texas is seeing the results of those tests and will continue to see these results in targeted areas over the next two weeks.”
Abbott noted that as the Lone Star State bolsters its testing ability, there will be an increase in positive tests, especially as results come in from high-risk facilities such as meatpacking plants, nursing homes and jails.
According to Abbott, there are 516 hospital beds available in the Amarillo region and 236 surge beds available. There are 110 ventilators available, with the capacity to send more to the region.