Case Counts/Testing in Texas – Sunday, March 28th (2:30 PM data)
Total Tests Performed – 25,405,674
Confirmed Cases – 2,386,312 (1,918 new cases)
Active Cases – 99,685
Hospitalizations – 3,104 (13,003 available beds, 1,154 available ICU beds)
Fatalities – 47,156 (63 new deaths)
Recovered Cases – 2,620,961
Vaccine Data – Sunday, March 28th (1:20 PM data)
Doses Shipped by state – 12,032,625
People with one dose received – 7,043,729
People fully vaccinated – 3,683,989
Total doses administered – 10,469,505
Inside the Numbers
Molecular positivity rate as of Monday, March 28th was 4.95%. One month ago, there were 1,600 new cases reported, one week ago there were 1,500 new cases reported, compared to the 1,918 reported yesterday. The 3,104 COVID patients in hospitals now are 342 fewer than one week ago, and COVID patients make up 4.7% of total hospital beds in the state.
Over the last week, an average of 180,655 doses have been administered each day in the state. As of March 21st, 12.7% of Texans have been fully vaccinated.
Push by House Member to Remove Mask Mandate
GOP leaders in the Texas House of Representatives have set a hearing for Monday in an attempt to dismantle the COVID-19 safety precautions the chamber approved in January. The edict approved in January included a mask order.
The push is not just to eliminate the mask requirement but also to end the right to virtual committee testimony and voting via laptop from just off the House floor.
Earlier this month, newly elected Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, introduced a resolution rolling back all of the chamber’s public-health mitigation measures. A bipartisan work group that Phelan named in November, shortly after announcing he’d secured the votes needed to become speaker, crafted the pandemic safety plan.
Slaton, who opposed the provisions, refers to them in his resolution as “allegedly necessary” standards.
Slaton argued in his preamble that “in accordance with Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order for Texas to be 100% open, the Texas House should also be open 100%.”
Texas to Receive More Than 1 Million Additional First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
Texas will be receiving more than 1 million first doses of various COVID-19 vaccines in the coming days as the state opened its eligibility to anyone over the age of 16.
The Texas Department of State Health Services plans to allocate 818,410 doses to 779 providers in 202 counties. They expect the federal government to soon send an additional 200,000 doses to pharmacy locations and federally qualified health centers.
587,950 second doses will be ordered by the health department for people who are expecting to get their second shot in the coming weeks.
Texas’ vaccination capabilities continue to expand with more than 10 million doses administered. 1.2 million of that total were administered last week.
Unemployment Still Up in Texas
Texas’ February unemployment rate was more than double the record low of 3.4% in May of 2019. The rate increased to 6.9%, likely exacerbated by the deadly winter storm that knocked most of the state off the power grid for days and made roads inaccessible.
By March, the number of unemployment claims Texans filed each week skyrocketed to levels reminiscent of last summer. Experts believe this jump is due to the February storm and a new congressional aid package that extended some benefits. Despite this, economists are hopeful that increased coronavirus vaccinations will help to steady the state’s economic recovery.
Countless Texans are still struggling to receive unemployment benefits thanks to the state’s dated and understaffed unemployment insurance office.
70% of ERCOT Customers Lost Power During Storm, Study Shows
A new study conducted by the University of Houston shows that February’s deadly winter storm affected nearly 70% of Texans who are served by the state’s primary power grid. These power outages came in subfreezing temperatures with almost half of those impacted experiencing water outages as well.
The survey found that those who lost electricity ended up going an average of 42 hours without it.
The severity of the storm continues to come into focus as the updated death toll reached 111 deaths last week. The destruction from the storm might make it the costliest disaster in Texas history.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas manages the state’s most used power grid, representing 90% of Texas’ electric load and serving more than 26 million customers. More than half of those customers had difficulty acquiring bottled water and lost internet service due to the storm. Three-fourths of people had difficulty obtaining food or groceries, according to the study.
There are 63 days remaining in the regular session. The House will convene at 4:00PM today , and the Senate convened at 12:00PM today.