Texas puts reopening on ‘pause’ as virus cases soar

Texas
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, flanked by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, speaks during a press conference at the state Capitol about the state's response to the coronavirus on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

By JIM VERTUNO and PAUL J. WEBER

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is halting elective surgeries in its biggest counties and is pausing the state’s aggressive reopening as it deals with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The number of patients admitted with COVID-19 has more than doubled in just two weeks. Texas has emerged as one of the nation’s biggest coronavirus hot spots, reporting more than 11,000 new cases in the past two days alone. Abbott has taken a newly urgent tone about the worsening trends and is now telling the public they should stay home. The surgery ban issued Thursday applies to Dallas, Harris, Travis and Bexar counties.