Texas reports another daily record, and the governor urges residents to stay home.
Texas on Tuesday reported another daily record — more than 5,000 new infections — prompting renewed warnings from Gov. Greg Abbott, who urged residents to stay home in an interview with the television station KBTX.
“Because the spread is so rampant right now, there is never a reason for you to have to leave your home unless you do need to go out,” he said. “The safest place for you is at your home.”
The governor, a Republican who has resisted the idea of another lockdown, said that he was trying to get Texans to grasp the magnitude of the outbreak, which has rapidly worsened in the state in recent weeks.
Cases and hospitalizations there have doubled over the past month. Local leaders have expressed fears that the pandemic may be close to overloading hospital capacity after hospitalizations jumped from an average of 1,600 a day to 3,200 a day.
“There remain a lot of people in the state of Texas who think the spread of Covid-19 is really not a challenge,” Mr. Abbott said.
Mayors across Texas have butted heads with the governor over mask policies. Although Mr. Abbott has recommended that residents wear masks, he has stopped short of requiring them.
He has said he supports requiring businesses to adhere to mask rules, but not individuals.
He has also called on Texans to “do everything in their power to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus” by wearing face masks, washing their hands and observing social distancing.
The state was one of the first to end its stay-at-home order, on April 30, weeks before some of the benchmark epidemiological models suggested doing so.
More than half of the United States is seeing an increase in cases weeks after parts of the country reopened, and some state officials are slowing return-to-work plans and reimposing earlier restrictions.
In Washington State, which shipped ventilators that it no longer needed to New York, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that he would order everyone to wear a mask in all outdoor and indoor public spaces.
In Maine, indoor bars won’t be reopening as planned. In Louisiana, occupancy limits will remain in place. And in Riley County, Kan., where case numbers grew more than 50 percent over the past week, officials said they would tighten restrictions on mass gatherings.
“I think we may have let our guard down a little bit,” said Julie Gibbs, the Riley County health officer. Several athletes at Kansas State University, which is in the county, have tested positive in recent days, and a majority of new cases have been in young adults.
Louisiana logged 1,356 new cases on Tuesday, the largest amount since late March and early April. The spike came one day after Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, said it was not yet safe for businesses to reopen more fully. He noted that about 90 percent of new cases were coming from community spread, not nursing homes or other group living facilities.
“It is clear that Covid is alive and well in Louisiana, and as we see more people testing positive and admitted to hospitals, we simply are not ready to move to the next phase,” Mr. Edwards said.
In Maine, as in most of the Northeast, case numbers have continued to decline. But officials said clusters at restaurants and bars in other states caused them to retreat from plans to reopen bars for indoor service on July 1.