Case Counts/Testing in Texas – Sunday, August 1st (1:25 PM data)
Confirmed Cases – 2,654,872 (2,049 new cases)
Hospitalizations – 6,594 (9,430 available beds, 618 available ICU beds)
Fatalities – 52,106 (21 new deaths)
Vaccine Data – Sunday, August 1st (12:00 PM data)
Doses Shipped by state – 21,614,930
People vaccinated – 14,926,289
People fully vaccinated – 12,700,487
Total doses administered – 26,552,930
Inside the Numbers
Positivity rate as of Saturday, July 31st was 16.79%. One month ago, there were 1,300 new cases reported, one week ago there were 5,000 new cases reported, compared to the 2,049 reported yesterday. The 6,594 COVID patients in hospitals now is 1,970 more patients compared to one week ago, and COVID patients make up 8.6% of total hospital beds in the state.
Over the last week, an average of 61,394 doses have been administered each day in the state. As of Wednesday, July 28th 43.5% of Texans have been fully vaccinated.
Cases, Hospitalizations Rise
Over the last couple of weeks, the number of positive COVID cases and COVID related hospitalizations have risen substantially across the state. From late June through the first part of July, the state was averaging about 1,000 new COVID cases every day. Last Thursday, the state recorded just over 10,000 new cases and that number increased to over 13,000 on Saturday. Hospitals are seeing dramatic increases in COVID related admissions as well. Travis County has 314 COVID patients in area ICU hospital beds, a figure not reached since February. In Dallas County, COVID hospitalizations have increased by 99% over the past 2 weeks, and they now have 376 ICU beds occupied. Texas now has over 6,500 total COVID patients hospitalized as of August 1st. On July 1st, there were 1,591 COVID patients hospitalized in the state.
However, even with these increases, we are still far away from pandemic heights regarding new case counts and hospitalizations. Our record high for number of new cases recorded was on December 29th, when the state recorded 27,000 new cases. Hospitalizations reached an all-time high in the state on January 11th, when 14,218 COVID related patients were hospitalized throughout the state.
Texas Democrats in DC Testify Before Congress
Following a series of meetings with Democratic party leadership on Capitol Hill over the last two weeks, three members of the Texas House Democratic delegation testified in front of the US House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The Texas members went through the basis of their decision to leave the state and put the legislative session on hold, as well as advocate for federal voting related legislation that could preempt state law. Republicans on the subcommittee took on the Democrats, and the four hour long hearing became contentious at times. Most points of discussion centered around the beliefs by the Democrats that the proposed voting law in Texas would lead to voter suppression versus the Republican point of view that it is needed to bring more integrity to the process. In the end, both sides recognized the fact that very little new information had been brought forward.
Biden Administration Sues Texas Over New Executive Order
On Wednesday, Gov. Abbott issued a new executive order that allows state troopers to pull over any vehicle they suspect of transporting migrants who may pose a risk of carrying or transmitting COVID. The order also allows the troopers to either reroute the vehicles to their point of origin or port of entry, or seize the vehicle. The Biden administration has asked a federal judge to block this order, saying the practice is “dangerous and unlawful”. Furthermore, the lawsuit – filed by the US Justice Department – says this practice will disrupt the federal government’s immigration operations. Abbott responded by saying that this order is needed because the Biden administration does not enforce immigration laws, and his duty is to protect the citizens of this state. There has been no indication given as to when or if the lawsuit will be heard in federal court.
We are heading into the last week of the First Called Session, which end this Friday, August 6th. The House Democrats are still in DC, and the House still lacks a quorum and cannot conduct any business. Gov. Abbott has vowed to call another special session to address the issue of elections administration, although he has not said when the next session will begin. Neither side seems to be willing to give in, and there are currently no negotiations taking place. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick indicated that once the Democrats return – whenever that may be – the Senate will pass election related legislation that will be similar to the bill the body passed in the first few days of this special session.
As the House lacks a quorum, the Senate has passed most of the issues set out on the initial call of the special session. The Senate convened at 11AM today, and then recessed until 11:30 AM on Wednesday. Later today, the Senate will convene the Special Committee on The Future of College Sports to examine the effects of the departure of the University of Texas from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference.
The House is standing at ease, and will convene at 4PM today. The have been coming in briefly every day to say an opening prayer and hand out daily leave slips for the members present in the chamber. With the call on the House still pending, Republican members are asked to stay close to the Capitol in case some or all of the Democrats decide to come back. The current special session ends on August 6th.