Case Counts/Testing in Texas – Sunday, April 4th (1:30 PM data)
Total Tests Performed – 26,088,575
Confirmed Cases – 2,403,393 (1,465 new cases)
Active Cases – 93,122
Hospitalizations – 2,817 (13,795 available beds, 1,107 available ICU beds)
Fatalities – 47,746 (21 new deaths)
Recovered Cases – 2,648,420
Vaccine Data – Sunday, April 4th (1:00 PM data)
Doses Shipped by state – 13,459,565
People with one dose received – 8,035,961
People fully vaccinated – 4,561,336
Total doses administered – 12,276,067
Inside the Numbers
Positivity rate as of Saturday, April 3rd was 4.94%. One month ago, there were 4,300 new cases reported, one week ago there were 3,100 new cases reported, compared to the 1,465 reported yesterday. The 2,817 COVID patients in hospitals now are 287 fewer than one week ago, and COVID patients make up 4.3% of total hospital beds in the state.
Over the last week, an average of 258,080 doses have been administered each day in the state. As of Saturday, April 3rd, 15.7% of Texans have been fully vaccinated.
Texas To Get 2.5 Million Vaccine Doses This Week
The state will receive 2.5 million doses of vaccines this week, according to the state health department. More than 1 million first doses will be sent to vaccination sites in 200 counties and roughly 900,000 first and second doses will be sent to pharmacies throughout the state.
Corporations Weigh in on Election Bills
Several corporations based in Texas spoke out late last week in opposition to legislative proposals that many say will further restrict voting in Texas. Fort Worth based American Airlines, and Austin based Dell Technologies were the first to issue statements taking aim at bills that proposing to make several changes to the way votes are cast in our state. On the Senate side, Senate Bill 7, which was passed through the Senate last week, and House Bill 6, which was passed out of House committee last week, are on the move through the Legislature. Both bills seek to restrict methods of making voting more convenient such as extended early voting hours, easier access to mail in ballots, and harsh restrictions on those who need assistance in casting a ballot. Nationally, as the move in many state legislatures continues to restrict voting access, several high profile companies have come out against proposed laws that they say will restrict voting rights. Included in the list of companies is Dow, Under Armour, American Express, Google, JP Morgan Chase, UPS, Microsoft, and others.
Over the weekend, Major League Baseball decided to move the annual All Star game out of Atlanta this year, citing the opposition to the new voting bill passed by the Georgia legislature recently. In response, Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement that he would not be throwing out the first pitch today at the opening home game for the Texas Rangers. Abbott said he will not participate in any events hosted by the MLB and will not seek to have the state host any of their special events.
O’Rourke on Challenge to Abbott
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News on Friday, former US Congressman Beto O’Rourke – who narrowly lost a challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 – said he is basically happy doing what he is currently doing and had no plans to challenge Abbott. O’Rourke is currently teaching a class at Texas State University and assisting with voter education and registration efforts. After the interview, O’Rourke quickly reached out to other media outlets to clarify that nothing he has said means he is not going to consider a run for office in 2022, just that his focus right now is on his current activities. All statewide officials – including the Governor, Lt. Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, etc.. are up for reelection in 2022. O”Rourke has long been considered the favored Democrat to challenge Abbott in 2022. However, others have been mentioned on the Democratic side, including Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
Globe Life Park to be at 100% Capacity
When the Texas Rangers have their home opener later today against the Toronto Blue Jays, the new Globe Life Park will be at 100% capacity. The ballpark holds just over 40,000 fans, and since there are no longer limitations on gatherings in the state of Texas, the ball club decided to allow 100% capacity. This will be the largest sporting event for fans in the country in over a year. COVID protocols will be in place, including a requirement for all fans to wear a face covering, and having all transactions be cashless, to limit contact between patrons and merchants. Critics, including President Biden, have been critical of the decision to allow 100% capacity, saying this is irresponsible and could lead to significant spread of the virus. Playing in front of fans has not happened since the 2019 season. Last season, MLB teams played before empty seats, with crowd noise piped in.
There are 57 days remaining in the regular session. Both chambers have taken off Friday and Monday for Easter break, and return for session tomorrow, Tuesday April 6th. The Senate is expected to consider their version of the state budget on the Senate floor on Tuesday.