HOUSTON - Texas saw its largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases, with a total of 2,504 new cases on Wednesday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
The next phase of reopening Texas is Friday when restaurants will get to expand to 75 percent capacity, but the past 24 hours brought in the largest number of new coronavirus cases yet for that time frame.
“Numbers are obviously going up,” said Jo Gasda who visited Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houston with two friends Wednesday. “At some point we have to start living our lives again. We can’t live our lives like this, but there are people who are at a high risk for it, and not everyone can just move on and act like it’s not here.”
“It’s a hard balance because you want to stay safe, but also people have to get out,” said Jamesyn Gleditch, Gasda’s friend.
As Texas continues to reopen, Texans continue to weigh the risks of venturing back out, especially after public health data out of Harris County shows some spikes in new cases, and statewide, Texas saw its highest new case number Wednesday.
“I feel if you wear masks and stuff, everything should be alright,” said Lydia Johnson, who chose not to wear a mask on her walk through Eleanor Tinsley Park Wednesday. “That’s what I’ve been thinking.”
“Keep your distance,” said Johnson’s husband Troy.
But many people have not kept their distance during large protests in recent weeks, leading Houston Health Dept. officials to call recent protests “virus spreading events.”
“There wasn’t no distance at all, but everybody came together,” said Johnson.
And with many graduation celebrations around the corner, Fort Bend County Health and Human Services sent out a statement Wednesday reminding residents that the CDC still recommends avoiding mass and large gatherings.
“I feel kind of—not sad—but it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to finish the year how we planned it,” said Nathan Medina who graduated from high school this year.
“It breaks my heart, you know, the class of 2020, but I just tell him, ‘You guys were made for this,’” said Vivian Vega, Medina’s mom.