Statewide NewsCoronavirus Cases, Hospitalizations in Texas Continue Decline Three Weeks After Mask Mandate Lifted

Despite cries that lifting the statewide mask mandate and lockdown policies was premature, Texas coronavirus cases continue to decline.
April 2, 2021
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Over three weeks ago, Gov. Greg Abbott’s mask mandate and COVID-19 occupancy restrictions for businesses were lifted across the state.

Many state Democrats criticized the governor for lifting his order and said he was signing a “death warrant” for Texans, and President Joe Biden likened the change to “neanderthal thinking.”

But since the change went into effect on March 10, the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have continued trending downward.

Down from a high of a 21 percent positivity rate at the beginning of January, the data from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) sloped down to 6.4 percent on March 10.

Now the positivity rate is one percent lower as of March 31.

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The decline in positivity rate comes alongside a drastic drop in testing that happened during the Texas freeze.

In early February, there was an average of around 100,000 molecular tests being conducted daily.

That number fell to a low of 34,000 at the worst part of the storm, and the amount of testing never quite increased to its previous level.

Since Texas froze over, the state has now been averaging around 60,000 tests per day.

Despite the decline in the number of tests, the number of daily new cases has likewise continued dropping, albeit at a slower rate.

At its peak in January, the weekly average of new daily cases exceeded 19,000.

That fell to 4,600 by the time Abbott announced he was lifting the mandate and further still to 2,400 by the end of March.

Preventing hospitals from overflowing with coronavirus patients was one of the primary concerns of government responses at the start of the pandemic, but the current number of hospitalizations poses no significant threat to that goal.

COVID-19 hospitalizations also peaked in January to a weekly average of nearly 14,000.

On March 10, there was a seven-day average of 4,700 coronavirus hospitalizations in Texas, but now that number is even lower at 3,200.

Some, the chief medical officer at the University of Texas (UT) System who recently recommended the state House wait six weeks to consider striking down its mask mandate, have cautioned that the recent spring breaks could lead to a rise in cases among young people.

But individuals below the age of thirty represent a minute fraction of all COVID-19 fatalities, and many in the more vulnerable population have now been vaccinated.

The state has surpassed over 11 million vaccinations, with over 4 million people fully vaccinated and another 3.4 million receiving at least one dose.

A total of 16.7 million doses have been allocated to the state thus far and 13 million doses have shipped.

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Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.

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