A Texas Mayor Implores Residents To ‘Only Go Out If You Have To’ As Virus Cases Spike

A well being care employee organizes coronavirus checks that have been administered at a United Memorial Medical Center testing website in Houston on June 25. Mark Felix /AFP through Getty Images cover caption

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Mark Felix /AFP through Getty Images

A well being care employee organizes coronavirus checks that have been administered at a United Memorial Medical Center testing website in Houston on June 25.

Mark Felix /AFP through Getty Images

The variety of coronavirus instances is hovering in Texas, the place Gov. Greg Abbott not too long ago rolled again a few of his reopening plan. It’s a transfer the mayor of League City, Texas, welcomes.

“I realize people have to work and I know we don’t want the economy to shut down, but what good is the economy if there’s nobody around to spend money?” Mayor Pat Hallisey advised Morning Edition host David Greene. “So it’s a practical matter.”

At the tip of June, Abbott began ordering bars and restaurants to close or reduce seating capacity once more as new instances started surging.

“I think that there’s been some resistance to how serious we’re going to take this. And at the end of the day, personal responsibility to your own actions is really the bottom line of this,” Hallisey stated. “We can have all the rules and laws but people have to wake up and realize this is a serious threat to their personal health and nobody seems to be exclusive.”

League City, which sits about 30 minutes exterior Houston, is the most important metropolis in Galveston County. In the county, COVID-19 instances have more than doubled over the past month, and lots of the new instances are affecting folks ages 20 to 40, in accordance with Hallisey.

“We were really happy that the governor came in and shut down the bars,” he stated. “Not that they were the whole problem, but they were a contributing factor to it. We see a lot more young people coming down with this.”

Dr. Joseph Varon, a pulmonologist at Houston Methodist Hospital, stated many of the sufferers he sees inform the identical story: They did not take the virus significantly sufficient.

“Everybody wants to be out, and it’s funny because then you see them in the hospital sick, almost connected to a respirator, and then they tell you, ‘Yes, I screwed up. I didn’t wear my mask. I didn’t keep my social distancing. I was in a big meeting,'” Varon stated. “We see that every single day. If you come around with me and spend some time just looking at the patients, every patient has the same story.”

Hallisey stated he agreed with Varon, including that the unfold of the virus is “out of control.” He’s encouraging everybody to “take every precaution that we can take to keep this contained.” But he additionally stated he is seeing extra folks sporting masks — not solely in League City, but in addition in Houston.

“We’re seeing it in Houston because what happens in Houston happens to us,” Hallisey stated. “We have probably one of the greatest medical centers in the world but they’re almost at capacity. So we’re imploring people please, take this serious, wear your mask, continue to social distance, and only go out if you have to.”

Ryan Benk and Matt Kwong produced and edited the audio model of this story.

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